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Sample records for cluster randomized clinical

  1. Exergaming and older adult cognition: a cluster randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson-Hanley, Cay; Arciero, Paul J; Brickman, Adam M; Nimon, Joseph P; Okuma, Naoko; Westen, Sarah C; Merz, Molly E; Pence, Brandt D; Woods, Jeffrey A; Kramer, Arthur F; Zimmerman, Earl A

    2012-02-01

    Dementia cases may reach 100 million by 2050. Interventions are sought to curb or prevent cognitive decline. Exercise yields cognitive benefits, but few older adults exercise. Virtual reality-enhanced exercise or "exergames" may elicit greater participation. To test the following hypotheses: (1) stationary cycling with virtual reality tours ("cybercycle") will enhance executive function and clinical status more than traditional exercise; (2) exercise effort will explain improvement; and (3) brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) will increase. Multi-site cluster randomized clinical trial (RCT) of the impact of 3 months of cybercycling versus traditional exercise, on cognitive function in older adults. Data were collected in 2008-2010; analyses were conducted in 2010-2011. 102 older adults from eight retirement communities enrolled; 79 were randomized and 63 completed. A recumbent stationary ergometer was utilized; virtual reality tours and competitors were enabled on the cybercycle. Executive function (Color Trails Difference, Stroop C, Digits Backward); clinical status (mild cognitive impairment; MCI); exercise effort/fitness; and plasma BDNF. Intent-to-treat analyses, controlling for age, education, and cluster randomization, revealed a significant group X time interaction for composite executive function (p=0.002). Cybercycling yielded a medium effect over traditional exercise (d=0.50). Cybercyclists had a 23% relative risk reduction in clinical progression to MCI. Exercise effort and fitness were comparable, suggesting another underlying mechanism. A significant group X time interaction for BDNF (p=0.05) indicated enhanced neuroplasticity among cybercyclists. Cybercycling older adults achieved better cognitive function than traditional exercisers, for the same effort, suggesting that simultaneous cognitive and physical exercise has greater potential for preventing cognitive decline. This study is registered at Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01167400. Copyright

  2. Hospital recruitment for a pragmatic cluster-randomized clinical trial: Lessons learned from the COMPASS study.

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    Johnson, Anna M; Jones, Sara B; Duncan, Pamela W; Bushnell, Cheryl D; Coleman, Sylvia W; Mettam, Laurie H; Kucharska-Newton, Anna M; Sissine, Mysha E; Rosamond, Wayne D

    2018-01-26

    Pragmatic randomized clinical trials are essential to determine the effectiveness of interventions in "real-world" clinical practice. These trials frequently use a cluster-randomized methodology, with randomization at the site level. Despite policymakers' increased interest in supporting pragmatic randomized clinical trials, no studies to date have reported on the unique recruitment challenges faced by cluster-randomized pragmatic trials. We investigated key challenges and successful strategies for hospital recruitment in the Comprehensive Post-Acute Stroke Services (COMPASS) study. The COMPASS study is designed to compare the effectiveness of the COMPASS model versus usual care in improving functional outcomes, reducing the numbers of hospital readmissions, and reducing caregiver strain for patients discharged home after stroke or transient ischemic attack. This model integrates early supported discharge planning with transitional care management, including nurse-led follow-up phone calls after 2, 30, and 60 days and an in-person clinic visit at 7-14 days involving a functional assessment and neurological examination. We present descriptive statistics of the characteristics of successfully recruited hospitals compared with all eligible hospitals, reasons for non-participation, and effective recruitment strategies. We successfully recruited 41 (43%) of 95 eligible North Carolina hospitals. Leading, non-exclusive reasons for non-participation included: insufficient staff or financial resources (n = 33, 61%), lack of health system support (n = 16, 30%), and lack of support of individual decision-makers (n = 11, 20%). Successful recruitment strategies included: building and nurturing relationships, engaging team members and community partners with a diverse skill mix, identifying gatekeepers, finding mutually beneficial solutions, having a central institutional review board, sharing published pilot data, and integrating contracts and review board

  3. Does clinical equipoise apply to cluster randomized trials in health research?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    This article is part of a series of papers examining ethical issues in cluster randomized trials (CRTs) in health research. In the introductory paper in this series, Weijer and colleagues set out six areas of inquiry that must be addressed if the cluster trial is to be set on a firm ethical foundation. This paper addresses the third of the questions posed, namely, does clinical equipoise apply to CRTs in health research? The ethical principle of beneficence is the moral obligation not to harm needlessly and, when possible, to promote the welfare of research subjects. Two related ethical problems have been discussed in the CRT literature. First, are control groups that receive only usual care unduly disadvantaged? Second, when accumulating data suggests the superiority of one intervention in a trial, is there an ethical obligation to act? In individually randomized trials involving patients, similar questions are addressed by the concept of clinical equipoise, that is, the ethical requirement that, at the start of a trial, there be a state of honest, professional disagreement in the community of expert practitioners as to the preferred treatment. Since CRTs may not involve physician-researchers and patient-subjects, the applicability of clinical equipoise to CRTs is uncertain. Here we argue that clinical equipoise may be usefully grounded in a trust relationship between the state and research subjects, and, as a result, clinical equipoise is applicable to CRTs. Clinical equipoise is used to argue that control groups receiving only usual care are not disadvantaged so long as the evidence supporting the experimental and control interventions is such that experts would disagree as to which is preferred. Further, while data accumulating during the course of a CRT may favor one intervention over another, clinical equipoise supports continuing the trial until the results are likely to be broadly convincing, often coinciding with the planned completion of the trial

  4. Comparative effectiveness of childhood obesity interventions in pediatric primary care: a cluster-randomized clinical trial.

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    Taveras, Elsie M; Marshall, Richard; Kleinman, Ken P; Gillman, Matthew W; Hacker, Karen; Horan, Christine M; Smith, Renata L; Price, Sarah; Sharifi, Mona; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L; Simon, Steven R

    2015-06-01

    Evidence of effective treatment of childhood obesity in primary care settings is limited. To examine the extent to which computerized clinical decision support (CDS) delivered to pediatric clinicians at the point of care of obese children, with or without individualized family coaching, improved body mass index (BMI; calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) and quality of care. We conducted a cluster-randomized, 3-arm clinical trial. We enrolled 549 children aged 6 to 12 years with a BMI at the 95% percentile or higher from 14 primary care practices in Massachusetts from October 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012. Patients were followed up for 1 year (last follow-up, August 30, 2013). In intent-to-treat analyses, we used linear mixed-effects models to account for clustering by practice and within each person. In 5 practices randomized to CDS, pediatric clinicians received decision support on obesity management, and patients and their families received an intervention for self-guided behavior change. In 5 practices randomized to CDS + coaching, decision support was augmented by individualized family coaching. The remaining 4 practices were randomized to usual care. Smaller age-associated change in BMI and the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) performance measures for obesity during the 1-year follow-up. At baseline, mean (SD) patient age and BMI were 9.8 (1.9) years and 25.8 (4.3), respectively. At 1 year, we obtained BMI from 518 children (94.4%) and HEDIS measures from 491 visits (89.4%). The 3 randomization arms had different effects on BMI over time (P = .04). Compared with the usual care arm, BMI increased less in children in the CDS arm during 1 year (-0.51 [95% CI, -0.91 to -0.11]). The CDS + coaching arm had a smaller magnitude of effect (-0.34 [95% CI, -0.75 to 0.07]). We found substantially greater achievement of childhood obesity HEDIS measures in the CDS arm (adjusted odds ratio, 2.28 [95% CI, 1

  5. The effectiveness of xylitol in a school-based cluster-randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Wonik; Spiekerman, Charles; Heima, Masahiro; Eggertsson, Hafsteinn; Ferretti, Gerald; Milgrom, Peter; Nelson, Suchitra

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this double-blind, cluster-randomized clinical trial was to examine the effects of xylitol gummy bear snacks on dental caries progression in primary and permanent teeth of inner-city school children. A total of 562 children aged 5-6 years were recruited from five elementary schools in East Cleveland, Ohio. Children were randomized by classroom to receive xylitol (7.8 g/day) or placebo (inulin fiber 20 g/day) gummy bears. Gummy bears were given three times per day for the 9-month kindergarten year within a supervised school environment. Children in both groups also received oral health education, toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste, topical fluoride varnish treatment and dental sealants. The numbers of new decayed, missing, and filled surfaces for primary teeth (dmfs) and permanent teeth (DMFS) from baseline to the middle of 2nd grade (exit exam) were compared between the treatment (xylitol/placebo) groups using an optimally-weighted permutation test for cluster-randomized data. The mean new d(3-6)mfs at the exit exam was 5.0 ± 7.6 and 4.0 ± 6.5 for the xylitol and placebo group, respectively. Similarly, the mean new D(3-6)MFS was 0.38 ± 0.88 and 0.48 ± 1.39 for the xylitol and placebo group, respectively. The adjusted mean difference between the two groups was not statistically significant: new d(3-6)mfs: mean 0.4, 95% CI -0.25, 0.8), and new D(3-6)MFS: mean 0.16, 95% CI -0.16, 0.43. Xylitol consumption did not have additional benefit beyond other preventive measures. Caries progression in the permanent teeth of both groups was minimal, suggesting that other simultaneous prevention modalities may have masked the possible beneficial effects of xylitol in this trial. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Impact of a cancer clinical trials web site on discussions about trial participation: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dear, R F; Barratt, A L; Askie, L M; Butow, P N; McGeechan, K; Crossing, S; Currow, D C; Tattersall, M H N

    2012-07-01

    Cancer patients want access to reliable information about currently recruiting clinical trials. Oncologists and their patients were randomly assigned to access a consumer-friendly cancer clinical trials web site [Australian Cancer Trials (ACT), www.australiancancertrials.gov.au] or to usual care in a cluster randomized controlled trial. The primary outcome, measured from audio recordings of oncologist-patient consultations, was the proportion of patients with whom participation in any clinical trial was discussed. Analysis was by intention-to-treat accounting for clustering and stratification. Thirty medical oncologists and 493 patients were recruited. Overall, 46% of consultations in the intervention group compared with 34% in the control group contained a discussion about clinical trials (P=0.08). The mean consultation length in both groups was 29 min (P=0.69). The proportion consenting to a trial was 10% in both groups (P=0.65). Patients' knowledge about randomized trials was lower in the intervention than the control group (mean score 3.0 versus 3.3, P=0.03) but decisional conflict scores were similar (mean score 42 versus 43, P=0.83). Good communication between patients and physicians is essential. Within this context, a web site such as Australian Cancer Trials may be an important tool to encourage discussion about clinical trial participation.

  7. Best strategies to implement clinical pathways in an emergency department setting: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabbour, Mona; Curran, Janet; Scott, Shannon D; Guttman, Astrid; Rotter, Thomas; Ducharme, Francine M; Lougheed, M Diane; McNaughton-Filion, M Louise; Newton, Amanda; Shafir, Mark; Paprica, Alison; Klassen, Terry; Taljaard, Monica; Grimshaw, Jeremy; Johnson, David W

    2013-05-22

    The clinical pathway is a tool that operationalizes best evidence recommendations and clinical practice guidelines in an accessible format for 'point of care' management by multidisciplinary health teams in hospital settings. While high-quality, expert-developed clinical pathways have many potential benefits, their impact has been limited by variable implementation strategies and suboptimal research designs. Best strategies for implementing pathways into hospital settings remain unknown. This study will seek to develop and comprehensively evaluate best strategies for effective local implementation of externally developed expert clinical pathways. We will develop a theory-based and knowledge user-informed intervention strategy to implement two pediatric clinical pathways: asthma and gastroenteritis. Using a balanced incomplete block design, we will randomize 16 community emergency departments to receive the intervention for one clinical pathway and serve as control for the alternate clinical pathway, thus conducting two cluster randomized controlled trials to evaluate this implementation intervention. A minimization procedure will be used to randomize sites. Intervention sites will receive a tailored strategy to support full clinical pathway implementation. We will evaluate implementation strategy effectiveness through measurement of relevant process and clinical outcomes. The primary process outcome will be the presence of an appropriately completed clinical pathway on the chart for relevant patients. Primary clinical outcomes for each clinical pathway include the following: Asthma--the proportion of asthmatic patients treated appropriately with corticosteroids in the emergency department and at discharge; and Gastroenteritis--the proportion of relevant patients appropriately treated with oral rehydration therapy. Data sources include chart audits, administrative databases, environmental scans, and qualitative interviews. We will also conduct an overall process

  8. Full impact of laboratory information system requires direct use by clinical staff: cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaya, Joaquín A; Shin, Sonya; Contreras, Carmen; Yale, Gloria; Suarez, Carmen; Asencios, Luis; Kim, Jihoon; Rodriguez, Pablo; Cegielski, Peter; Fraser, Hamish S F

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate the time to communicate laboratory results to health centers (HCs) between the e-Chasqui web-based information system and the pre-existing paper-based system. Cluster randomized controlled trial in 78 HCs in Peru. In the intervention group, 12 HCs had web access to results via e-Chasqui (point-of-care HCs) and forwarded results to 17 peripheral HCs. In the control group, 22 point-of-care HCs received paper results directly and forwarded them to 27 peripheral HCs. Baseline data were collected for 15 months. Post-randomization data were collected for at least 2 years. Comparisons were made between intervention and control groups, stratified by point-of-care versus peripheral HCs. For point-of-care HCs, the intervention group took less time to receive drug susceptibility tests (DSTs) (median 9 vs 16 days, p60 days to arrive (pChasqui information system had reduced communication times and fewer results with delays of >2 months. Peripheral HCs had no benefits from the system. This suggests that health establishments should have point-of-care access to reap the benefits of electronic laboratory reporting.

  9. Random matrix improved subspace clustering

    KAUST Repository

    Couillet, Romain; Kammoun, Abla

    2017-01-01

    This article introduces a spectral method for statistical subspace clustering. The method is built upon standard kernel spectral clustering techniques, however carefully tuned by theoretical understanding arising from random matrix findings. We show

  10. Effect of Financial Incentives on Breastfeeding: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Relton, Clare; Strong, Mark; Thomas, Kate J; Whelan, Barbara; Walters, Stephen J; Burrows, Julia; Scott, Elaine; Viksveen, Petter; Johnson, Maxine; Baston, Helen; Fox-Rushby, Julia; Anokye, Nana; Umney, Darren; Renfrew, Mary J

    2018-02-05

    Although breastfeeding has a positive effect on an infant's health and development, the prevalence is low in many communities. The effect of financial incentives to improve breastfeeding prevalence is unknown. To assess the effect of an area-level financial incentive for breastfeeding on breastfeeding prevalence at 6 to 8 weeks post partum. The Nourishing Start for Health (NOSH) trial, a cluster randomized trial with 6 to 8 weeks follow-up, was conducted between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016, in 92 electoral ward areas in England with baseline breastfeeding prevalence at 6 to 8 weeks post partum less than 40%. A total of 10 010 mother-infant dyads resident in the 92 study electoral ward areas where the infant's estimated or actual birth date fell between February 18, 2015, and February 17, 2016, were included. Areas were randomized to the incentive plus usual care (n = 46) (5398 mother-infant dyads) or to usual care alone (n = 46) (4612 mother-infant dyads). Usual care was delivered by clinicians (mainly midwives, health visitors) in a variety of maternity, neonatal, and infant feeding services, all of which were implementing the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative standards. Shopping vouchers worth £40 (US$50) were offered to mothers 5 times based on infant age (2 days, 10 days, 6-8 weeks, 3 months, 6 months), conditional on the infant receiving any breast milk. The primary outcome was electoral ward area-level 6- to 8-week breastfeeding period prevalence, as assessed by clinicians at the routine 6- to 8-week postnatal check visit. Secondary outcomes were area-level period prevalence for breastfeeding initiation and for exclusive breastfeeding at 6 to 8 weeks. In the intervention (5398 mother-infant dyads) and control (4612 mother-infant dyads) group, the median (interquartile range) percentage of women aged 16 to 44 years was 36.2% (3.0%) and 37.4% (3.6%) years, respectively. After adjusting for baseline breastfeeding prevalence and local government

  11. A cluster randomized controlled trial of a clinical pathway for hospital treatment of heart failure: study design and population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gardini Andrea

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The hospital treatment of heart failure frequently does not follow published guidelines, potentially contributing to the high morbidity, mortality and economic cost of this disorder. Consequently the development of clinical pathways has the potential to reduce the current variability in care, enhance guideline adherence, and improve outcomes for patients. Despite enthusiasm and diffusion, the widespread acceptance of clinical pathways remain questionable because very little prospective controlled data demonstrated their effectiveness. The Experimental Prospective Study on the Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Implementation of Clinical Pathways was designed in order to conduct a rigorous evaluation of clinical pathways in hospital treatment of acute heart failure. The primary objective of the trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of clinical pathways for hospital treatment of heart failure in Italian hospitals. Methods/design Two-arm, cluster-randomized trial. 14 community hospitals were randomized either to arm 1 (clinical pathway: appropriate use of practice guidelines and supplies of drugs and ancillary services, new organization and procedures, patient education, etc. or to arm 2 (no intervention, usual care. 424 patients sample (212 in each group, 80% of power at the 5% significance level (two-sided. The primary outcome measure is in-hospital mortality. We will also analyze the impact of the clinical pathways comparing the length and the appropriateness of the stay, the rate of unscheduled readmissions, the customers' satisfaction and the costs treating the patients with the pathways and with the current practice along all the observation period. The quality of the care will be assessed by monitoring the use of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures during hospital stay and by measuring key quality indicators at discharge. Discussion This paper examines the design of the evaluation of a complex

  12. Home-based versus mobile clinic HIV testing and counseling in rural Lesotho: a cluster-randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labhardt, Niklaus Daniel; Motlomelo, Masetsibi; Cerutti, Bernard; Pfeiffer, Karolin; Kamele, Mashaete; Hobbins, Michael A; Ehmer, Jochen

    2014-12-01

    The success of HIV programs relies on widely accessible HIV testing and counseling (HTC) services at health facilities as well as in the community. Home-based HTC (HB-HTC) is a popular community-based approach to reach persons who do not test at health facilities. Data comparing HB-HTC to other community-based HTC approaches are very limited. This trial compares HB-HTC to mobile clinic HTC (MC-HTC). The trial was powered to test the hypothesis of higher HTC uptake in HB-HTC campaigns than in MC-HTC campaigns. Twelve clusters were randomly allocated to HB-HTC or MC-HTC. The six clusters in the HB-HTC group received 30 1-d multi-disease campaigns (five villages per cluster) that delivered services by going door-to-door, whereas the six clusters in MC-HTC group received campaigns involving community gatherings in the 30 villages with subsequent service provision in mobile clinics. Time allocation and human resources were standardized and equal in both groups. All individuals accessing the campaigns with unknown HIV status or whose last HIV test was >12 wk ago and was negative were eligible. All outcomes were assessed at the individual level. Statistical analysis used multivariable logistic regression. Odds ratios and p-values were adjusted for gender, age, and cluster effect. Out of 3,197 participants from the 12 clusters, 2,563 (80.2%) were eligible (HB-HTC: 1,171; MC-HTC: 1,392). The results for the primary outcomes were as follows. Overall HTC uptake was higher in the HB-HTC group than in the MC-HTC group (92.5% versus 86.7%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 2.06; 95% CI: 1.18-3.60; p = 0. 011). Among adolescents and adults ≥ 12 y, HTC uptake did not differ significantly between the two groups; however, in children versus 58.7%; aOR: 4.91; 95% CI: 2.41-10.0; pindividuals in the HB-HTC and in the MC-HTC arms, respectively, linked to HIV care within 1 mo after testing positive. Findings for secondary outcomes were as follows: HB-HTC reached more first-time testers

  13. Cluster randomization and political philosophy.

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    Chwang, Eric

    2012-11-01

    In this paper, I will argue that, while the ethical issues raised by cluster randomization can be challenging, they are not new. My thesis divides neatly into two parts. In the first, easier part I argue that many of the ethical challenges posed by cluster randomized human subjects research are clearly present in other types of human subjects research, and so are not novel. In the second, more difficult part I discuss the thorniest ethical challenge for cluster randomized research--cases where consent is genuinely impractical to obtain. I argue that once again these cases require no new analytic insight; instead, we should look to political philosophy for guidance. In other words, the most serious ethical problem that arises in cluster randomized research also arises in political philosophy. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Random matrix improved subspace clustering

    KAUST Repository

    Couillet, Romain

    2017-03-06

    This article introduces a spectral method for statistical subspace clustering. The method is built upon standard kernel spectral clustering techniques, however carefully tuned by theoretical understanding arising from random matrix findings. We show in particular that our method provides high clustering performance while standard kernel choices provably fail. An application to user grouping based on vector channel observations in the context of massive MIMO wireless communication networks is provided.

  15. Effectiveness of a clinical practice guideline implementation strategy for patients with anxiety disorders in primary care: cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tello-Bernabé, Eugenia; Sanz-Cuesta, Teresa; del Cura-González, Isabel; de Santiago-Hernando, María L; Jurado-Sueiro, Montserrat; Fernández-Girón, Mercedes; García-de Blas, Francisca; Pensado-Freire, Higinio; Góngora-Maldonado, Francisco; de la Puente-Chamorro, María J; Rodríguez-Pasamontes, Carmen; Martín-Iglesias, Susana

    2011-12-01

    Anxiety is a common mental health problem seen in primary care. However, its management in clinical practice varies greatly. Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have the potential to reduce variations and improve the care received by patients by promoting interventions of proven benefit. However, uptake and adherence to their recommendations can be low. This study involves a community based on cluster randomized trial in primary healthcare centres in the Madrid Region (Spain). The project aims to determine whether the use of implementation strategy (including training session, information, opinion leader, reminders, audit, and feed-back) of CPG for patients with anxiety disorders in primary care is more effective than usual diffusion. The number of patients required is 296 (148 in each arm), all older than 18 years and diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and panic attacks by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV). They are chosen by consecutive sampling. The main outcome variable is the change in two or more points into Goldberg anxiety scale at six and twelve months. Secondary outcome variables include quality of life (EuroQol 5D), and degree of compliance with the CPG recommendations on treatment, information, and referrals to mental health services. Main effectiveness will be analyzed by comparing the patients percentage improvement on the Goldberg scale between the intervention group and the control group. Logistic regression with random effects will be used to adjust for prognostic factors. Confounding factors or factors that might alter the effect recorded will be taken into account in this analysis. There is a need to identify effective implementation strategies for CPG for the management of anxiety disorders present in primary care. Ensuring the appropriate uptake of guideline recommendations can reduce clinical variation and improve the care patients receive. ISRCTN: ISRCTN83365316.

  16. Effectiveness of a clinical practice guideline implementation strategy for patients with anxiety disorders in primary care: cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tello-Bernabé Eugenia

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anxiety is a common mental health problem seen in primary care. However, its management in clinical practice varies greatly. Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs have the potential to reduce variations and improve the care received by patients by promoting interventions of proven benefit. However, uptake and adherence to their recommendations can be low. Method/design This study involves a community based on cluster randomized trial in primary healthcare centres in the Madrid Region (Spain. The project aims to determine whether the use of implementation strategy (including training session, information, opinion leader, reminders, audit, and feed-back of CPG for patients with anxiety disorders in primary care is more effective than usual diffusion. The number of patients required is 296 (148 in each arm, all older than 18 years and diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and panic attacks by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV. They are chosen by consecutive sampling. The main outcome variable is the change in two or more points into Goldberg anxiety scale at six and twelve months. Secondary outcome variables include quality of life (EuroQol 5D, and degree of compliance with the CPG recommendations on treatment, information, and referrals to mental health services. Main effectiveness will be analyzed by comparing the patients percentage improvement on the Goldberg scale between the intervention group and the control group. Logistic regression with random effects will be used to adjust for prognostic factors. Confounding factors or factors that might alter the effect recorded will be taken into account in this analysis. Discussion There is a need to identify effective implementation strategies for CPG for the management of anxiety disorders present in primary care. Ensuring the appropriate uptake of guideline recommendations can reduce clinical variation and improve the care

  17. Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial: Clinical and Cost-Effectiveness of a System of Longer-Term Stroke Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, Anne; Young, John; Chapman, Katie; Nixon, Jane; Patel, Anita; Holloway, Ivana; Mellish, Kirste; Anwar, Shamaila; Breen, Rachel; Knapp, Martin; Murray, Jenni; Farrin, Amanda

    2015-08-01

    We developed a new postdischarge system of care comprising a structured assessment covering longer-term problems experienced by patients with stroke and their carers, linked to evidence-based treatment algorithms and reference guides (the longer-term stroke care system of care) to address the poor longer-term recovery experienced by many patients with stroke. A pragmatic, multicentre, cluster randomized controlled trial of this system of care. Eligible patients referred to community-based Stroke Care Coordinators were randomized to receive the new system of care or usual practice. The primary outcome was improved patient psychological well-being (General Health Questionnaire-12) at 6 months; secondary outcomes included functional outcomes for patients, carer outcomes, and cost-effectiveness. Follow-up was through self-completed postal questionnaires at 6 and 12 months. Thirty-two stroke services were randomized (29 participated); 800 patients (399 control; 401 intervention) and 208 carers (100 control; 108 intervention) were recruited. In intention to treat analysis, the adjusted difference in patient General Health Questionnaire-12 mean scores at 6 months was -0.6 points (95% confidence interval, -1.8 to 0.7; P=0.394) indicating no evidence of statistically significant difference between the groups. Costs of Stroke Care Coordinator inputs, total health and social care costs, and quality-adjusted life year gains at 6 months, 12 months, and over the year were similar between the groups. This robust trial demonstrated no benefit in clinical or cost-effectiveness outcomes associated with the new system of care compared with usual Stroke Care Coordinator practice. URL: http://www.controlled-trials.com. Unique identifier: ISRCTN 67932305. © 2015 Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

  18. Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on the Mental Health of Clinical Clerkship Students: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijk, I. van; Lucassen, P.L.B.J.; Akkermans, R.P.; Engelen, B.G.M. van; Weel, C. van; Speckens, A.E.M.

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE: To examine the effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction training (MBSR) on the mental health of medical students during clinical clerkships. METHOD: Between February 2011 and May 2014, the authors conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial of clerkships as usual (CAU) and

  19. Integration of family planning services into HIV care clinics: Results one year after a cluster randomized controlled trial in Kenya.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig R Cohen

    Full Text Available To determine if integration of family planning (FP and HIV services led to increased use of more effective contraception (i.e. hormonal and permanent methods, and intrauterine devices and decreased pregnancy rates.Cohort analysis following cluster randomized trial, when the Kenya Ministry of Health led integration of the remaining control (delayed integration sites and oversaw integrated services at the original intervention (early integration sites.Eighteen health facilities in Kenya.Women aged 18-45 receiving care: 5682 encounters at baseline, and 11628 encounters during the fourth quarter of year 2."One-stop shop" approach to integrating FP and HIV services.Use of more effective contraceptive methods and incident pregnancy across two years of follow-up.Following integration of FP and HIV services at the six delayed integration clinics, use of more effective contraception increased from 31.7% to 44.2% of encounters (+12.5%; Prevalence ratio (PR = 1.39 (1.19-1.63. Among the twelve early integration sites, the proportion of encounters at which women used more effective contraceptive methods was sustained from the end of the first to the second year of follow-up (37.5% vs. 37.0%. Pregnancy incidence including all 18 integrated sites in year two declined in comparison to the control arm in year one (rate ratio: 0.72; 95% CI 0.60-0.87.Integration of FP services into HIV clinics led to a sustained increase in the use of more effective contraceptives and decrease in pregnancy incidence 24 months following implementation of the integrated service model.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01001507.

  20. Home-based versus mobile clinic HIV testing and counseling in rural Lesotho: a cluster-randomized trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niklaus Daniel Labhardt

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The success of HIV programs relies on widely accessible HIV testing and counseling (HTC services at health facilities as well as in the community. Home-based HTC (HB-HTC is a popular community-based approach to reach persons who do not test at health facilities. Data comparing HB-HTC to other community-based HTC approaches are very limited. This trial compares HB-HTC to mobile clinic HTC (MC-HTC.The trial was powered to test the hypothesis of higher HTC uptake in HB-HTC campaigns than in MC-HTC campaigns. Twelve clusters were randomly allocated to HB-HTC or MC-HTC. The six clusters in the HB-HTC group received 30 1-d multi-disease campaigns (five villages per cluster that delivered services by going door-to-door, whereas the six clusters in MC-HTC group received campaigns involving community gatherings in the 30 villages with subsequent service provision in mobile clinics. Time allocation and human resources were standardized and equal in both groups. All individuals accessing the campaigns with unknown HIV status or whose last HIV test was >12 wk ago and was negative were eligible. All outcomes were assessed at the individual level. Statistical analysis used multivariable logistic regression. Odds ratios and p-values were adjusted for gender, age, and cluster effect. Out of 3,197 participants from the 12 clusters, 2,563 (80.2% were eligible (HB-HTC: 1,171; MC-HTC: 1,392. The results for the primary outcomes were as follows. Overall HTC uptake was higher in the HB-HTC group than in the MC-HTC group (92.5% versus 86.7%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 2.06; 95% CI: 1.18-3.60; p = 0. 011. Among adolescents and adults ≥ 12 y, HTC uptake did not differ significantly between the two groups; however, in children <12 y, HTC uptake was higher in the HB-HTC arm (87.5% versus 58.7%; aOR: 4.91; 95% CI: 2.41-10.0; p<0.001. Out of those who took up HTC, 114 (4.9% tested HIV-positive, 39 (3.6% in the HB-HTC arm and 75 (6.2% in the MC-HTC arm (aOR: 0.64; 95% CI

  1. An Electronic Adherence Measurement Intervention to Reduce Clinical Inertia in the Treatment of Uncontrolled Hypertension: The MATCH Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kronish, Ian M; Moise, Nathalie; McGinn, Thomas; Quan, Yan; Chaplin, William; Gallagher, Benjamin D; Davidson, Karina W

    2016-11-01

    To appropriately manage uncontrolled hypertension, clinicians must decide whether blood pressure (BP) is above goal due to a need for additional medication or to medication nonadherence. Yet, clinicians are poor judges of adherence, and uncertainty about adherence may promote inertia with respect to medication modification. We aimed to determine the effect of sharing electronically-measured adherence data with clinicians on the management of uncontrolled hypertension. This was a cluster randomized trial. Twenty-four primary care providers (12 intervention, 12 usual care; cluster units) and 100 patients with uncontrolled hypertension (65 intervention, 35 usual care) were included in the study. At one visit per patient, clinicians in the intervention group received a report summarizing electronically measured adherence to the BP regimen and recommended clinical actions. Clinicians in the control group did not receive a report. The primary outcome was the proportion of visits with appropriate clinical management (i.e., treatment intensification among adherent patients and adherence counseling among nonadherent patients). Secondary outcomes included patient-rated quality of care and communication during the visit. The proportion of visits with appropriate clinical management was higher in the intervention group than the control group (45 out of 65; 69 %) versus (12 out of 35; 34 %; p = 0.001). A higher proportion of adherent patients in the intervention group had their regimen intensified (p = 0.01), and a higher proportion of nonadherent patients in the intervention group received adherence counseling (p = 0.005). Patients in the intervention group were more likely to give their clinician high ratings on quality of care (p = 0.05), and on measures of patient-centered (p = 0.001) and collaborative communication (p = 0.02). Providing clinicians with electronically-measured antihypertensive adherence reports reduces inertia in the management of

  2. A cluster randomized trial to assess the effect of clinical pathways for patients with stroke: results of the clinical pathways for effective and appropriate care study

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    Panella Massimiliano

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clinical pathways (CPs are used to improve the outcomes of acute stroke, but their use in stroke care is questionable, because the evidence on their effectiveness is still inconclusive. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether CPs improve the outcomes and the quality of care provided to patients after acute ischemic stroke. Methods This was a multicentre cluster-randomized trial, in which 14 hospitals were randomized to the CP arm or to the non intervention/usual care (UC arm. Healthcare workers in the CP arm received 3 days of training in quality improvement of CPs and in use of a standardized package including information on evidence-based key interventions and indicators. Healthcare workers in the usual-care arm followed their standard procedures. The teams in the CP arm developed their CPs over a 6-month period. The primary end point was mortality. Secondary end points were: use of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, implementation of organized care, length of stay, re-admission and institutionalization rates after discharge, dependency levels, and complication rates. Results Compared with the patients in the UC arm, the patients in the CP arm had a significantly lower risk of mortality at 7 days (OR = 0.10; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.95 and significantly lower rates of adverse functional outcomes, expressed as the odds of not returning to pre-stroke functioning in their daily life (OR = 0.42; 95 CI 0.18 to 0.98. There was no significant effect on 30-day mortality. Compared with the UC arm, the hospital diagnostic and therapeutic procedures were performed more appropriately in the CP arm, and the evidence-based key interventions and organized care were more applied in the CP arm. Conclusions CPs can significantly improve the outcomes of patients with ischemic patients with stroke, indicating better application of evidence-based key interventions and of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. This study tested a new

  3. Single-cluster dynamics for the random-cluster model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deng, Y.; Qian, X.; Blöte, H.W.J.

    2009-01-01

    We formulate a single-cluster Monte Carlo algorithm for the simulation of the random-cluster model. This algorithm is a generalization of the Wolff single-cluster method for the q-state Potts model to noninteger values q>1. Its results for static quantities are in a satisfactory agreement with those

  4. Text Clustering Algorithm Based on Random Cluster Core

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    Huang Long-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays clustering has become a popular text mining algorithm, but the huge data can put forward higher requirements for the accuracy and performance of text mining. In view of the performance bottleneck of traditional text clustering algorithm, this paper proposes a text clustering algorithm with random features. This is a kind of clustering algorithm based on text density, at the same time using the neighboring heuristic rules, the concept of random cluster is introduced, which effectively reduces the complexity of the distance calculation.

  5. McMaster PLUS: a cluster randomized clinical trial of an intervention to accelerate clinical use of evidence-based information from digital libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynes, R Brian; Holland, Jennifer; Cotoi, Chris; McKinlay, R James; Wilczynski, Nancy L; Walters, Leslie A; Jedras, Dawn; Parrish, Rick; McKibbon, K Ann; Garg, Amit; Walter, Stephen D

    2006-01-01

    Physicians have difficulty keeping up with new evidence from medical research. We developed the McMaster Premium LiteratUre Service (PLUS), an internet-based addition to an existing digital library, which delivered quality- and relevance-rated medical literature to physicians, matched to their clinical disciplines. We evaluated PLUS in a cluster-randomized trial of 203 participating physicians in Northern Ontario, comparing a Full-Serve version (that included alerts to new articles and a cumulative database of alerts) with a Self-Serve version (that included a passive guide to evidence-based literature). Utilization of the service was the primary trial end-point. Mean logins to the library rose by 0.77 logins/month/user (95% CI 0.43, 1.11) in the Full-Serve group compared with the Self-Serve group. The proportion of Full-Serve participants who utilized the service during each month of the study period showed a sustained increase during the intervention period, with a relative increase of 57% (95% CI 12, 123) compared with the Self-Serve group. There were no differences in these proportions during the baseline period, and following the crossover of the Self-Serve group to Full-Serve, the Self-Serve group's usage became indistinguishable from that of the Full-Serve group (relative difference 4.4 (95% CI -23.7, 43.0). Also during the intervention and crossover periods, measures of self-reported usefulness did not show a difference between the 2 groups. A quality- and relevance-rated online literature service increased the utilization of evidence-based information from a digital library by practicing physicians.

  6. COSMOS--improving the quality of life in nursing home patients: protocol for an effectiveness-implementation cluster randomized clinical hybrid trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husebo, Bettina S; Flo, Elisabeth; Aarsland, Dag; Selbaek, Geir; Testad, Ingelin; Gulla, Christine; Aasmul, Irene; Ballard, Clive

    2015-09-15

    Nursing home patients have complex mental and physical health problems, disabilities and social needs, combined with widespread prescription of psychotropic drugs. Preservation of their quality of life is an important goal. This can only be achieved within nursing homes that offer competent clinical conditions of treatment and care. COmmunication, Systematic assessment and treatment of pain, Medication review, Occupational therapy, Safety (COSMOS) is an effectiveness-implementation hybrid trial that combines and implements organization of activities evidence-based interventions to improve staff competence and thereby the patients' quality of life, mental health and safety. The aim of this paper is to describe the development, content and implementation process of the COSMOS trial. COSMOS includes a 2-month pilot study with 128 participants distributed among nine Norwegian nursing homes, and a 4-month multicenter, cluster randomized effectiveness-implementation clinical hybrid trial with follow-up at month 9, including 571 patients from 67 nursing home units (one unit defined as one cluster). Clusters are randomized to COSMOS intervention or current best practice (control group). The intervention group will receive a 2-day education program including written guidelines, repeated theoretical and practical training (credited education of caregivers, physicians and nursing home managers), case discussions and role play. The 1-day midway evaluation, information and interviews of nursing staff and a telephone hotline all support the implementation process. Outcome measures include quality of life in late-stage dementia, neuropsychiatric symptoms, activities of daily living, pain, depression, sleep, medication, cost-utility analysis, hospital admission and mortality. Despite complex medical and psychosocial challenges, nursing home patients are often treated by staff possessing low level skills, lacking education and in facilities with a high staff turnover

  7. The effectiveness of a near-infrared vascular imaging device to support intravenous cannulation in children with dark skin color: a cluster randomized clinical trial.

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    van der Woude, Olga C P; Cuper, Natascha J; Getrouw, Chavalleh; Kalkman, Cor J; de Graaff, Jurgen C

    2013-06-01

    Poor vein visibility can make IV cannulation challenging in children with dark skin color. In the operating room, we studied the effectiveness of a near-infrared vascular imaging device (VascuLuminator) to facilitate IV cannulation in children with dark skin color. In the operating room of a general hospital in Curacao, all consecutive children (0-15 years of age) requiring IV cannulation were included in a pragmatic cluster randomized clinical trial. The VascuLuminator was made available to anesthesiologists at the operating complex in randomized clusters of 1 week. Success at first attempt was 63% (27/43, 95% confidence interval [CI], 47%-77%) in the VascuLuminator group vs 51% (23 of 45 patients, 95% CI, 36%-66%) in the control group (P = 0.27). Median time to successful cannulation was 53 seconds (interquartile range: 34-154) in the VascuLuminator group and 68 seconds (interquartile range: 40-159) in the control group (P = 0.54), and hazard ratio was 1.12 (95% CI, 0.73-1.71). The VascuLuminator has limited value in improving success at first attempt of facilitating IV cannulation in children with dark skin color.

  8. A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of Nonpharmacological Interventions for Old-Old Subjects with a Clinical Dementia Rating of 0.5: The Kurihara Project

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    Masahiro Nakatsuka

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Evidence as to the benefits of nonpharmacological interventions for the boundary state between normal aging and dementia [mild cognitive impairment or a Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR of 0.5] remains weak due to a lack of positive controls. Aims: To directly compare the effects of cognitive interventions (CI, physical activities (PA and a group reminiscence approach (GRA, we conducted a pilot study on the basis of a cluster randomized controlled trial design. Method: A total of 127 participants aged >74 years with a CDR of 0.5 were cluster randomized into three groups for CI, PA and GRA. The intervention lasted 12 weeks and consisted of weekly group sessions and home assignments. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE, Trail Making Test part A (TMT-A, word fluency (WF, 6-meter walk time and Quality of Life (QOL Face Scale scores were evaluated as primary outcomes. Results: Methodology-related benefits of CI and PA were found for MMSE scores and walk time, respectively. TMT-A, WF and QOL Face Scale scores improved irrespective of the methodologies used. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that CI and PA may be beneficial to cognitive and physical abilities, respectively. Executive functions and QOL may improve irrespective of the intervention methodologies used.

  9. Percolation and epidemics in random clustered networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Joel C.

    2009-08-01

    The social networks that infectious diseases spread along are typically clustered. Because of the close relation between percolation and epidemic spread, the behavior of percolation in such networks gives insight into infectious disease dynamics. A number of authors have studied percolation or epidemics in clustered networks, but the networks often contain preferential contacts in high degree nodes. We introduce a class of random clustered networks and a class of random unclustered networks with the same preferential mixing. Percolation in the clustered networks reduces the component sizes and increases the epidemic threshold compared to the unclustered networks.

  10. Addressing challenges in scaling up TB and HIV treatment integration in rural primary healthcare clinics in South Africa (SUTHI): a cluster randomized controlled trial protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naidoo, Kogieleum; Gengiah, Santhanalakshmi; Yende-Zuma, Nonhlanhla; Padayatchi, Nesri; Barker, Pierre; Nunn, Andrew; Subrayen, Priashni; Abdool Karim, Salim S

    2017-11-13

    A large and compelling clinical evidence base has shown that integrated TB and HIV services leads to reduction in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)- and tuberculosis (TB)-associated mortality and morbidity. Despite official policies and guidelines recommending TB and HIV care integration, its poor implementation has resulted in TB and HIV remaining the commonest causes of death in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa. This study aims to reduce mortality due to TB-HIV co-infection through a quality improvement strategy for scaling up of TB and HIV treatment integration in rural primary healthcare clinics in South Africa. The study is designed as an open-label cluster randomized controlled trial. Sixteen clinic supervisors who oversee 40 primary health care (PHC) clinics in two rural districts of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa will be randomized to either the control group (provision of standard government guidance for TB-HIV integration) or the intervention group (provision of standard government guidance with active enhancement of TB-HIV care integration through a quality improvement approach). The primary outcome is all-cause mortality among TB-HIV patients. Secondary outcomes include time to antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation among TB-HIV co-infected patients, as well as TB and HIV treatment outcomes at 12 months. In addition, factors that may affect the intervention, such as conditions in the clinic and staff availability, will be closely monitored and documented. This study has the potential to address the gap between the establishment of TB-HIV care integration policies and guidelines and their implementation in the provision of integrated care in PHC clinics. If successful, an evidence-based intervention comprising change ideas, tools, and approaches for quality improvement could inform the future rapid scale up, implementation, and sustainability of improved TB-HIV integration across sub-Sahara Africa and other resource

  11. Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on the Mental Health of Clinical Clerkship Students: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijk, Inge; Lucassen, Peter L B J; Akkermans, Reinier P; van Engelen, Baziel G M; van Weel, Chris; Speckens, Anne E M

    2017-07-01

    To examine the effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction training (MBSR) on the mental health of medical students during clinical clerkships. Between February 2011 and May 2014, the authors conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial of clerkships as usual (CAU) and clerkships with additional MBSR in medical students during their first year of clinical clerkships at a Dutch university medical center. MBSR consisted of eight weekly two-hour sessions, comprising didactic teaching, meditation exercises, and group dialogues. Students completed online assessments at baseline and after 3, 7, 12, 15, and 20 months. Outcome measures were psychological distress, positive mental health, life satisfaction, physician empathy, mindfulness skills, and dysfunctional cognitions as measured by validated tools. Of 232 eligible students, 167 students (72%) participated and were randomized by clerkship group into MBSR (n = 83) or CAU (n = 84). The MBSR group reported a small reduction of psychological distress (P = .03, Cohen's d = 0.20) and dysfunctional cognitions (P = .05, Cohen's d = 0.18) and a moderate increase of positive mental health (P = .002, Cohen's d = 0.44), life satisfaction (P = .01, Cohen's d = 0.51), and mindfulness skills (P = .05, Cohen's d = 0.35) compared with CAU during the 20-month follow-up. The authors detected no significant effect on physician empathy (P = .18, Cohen's d = 0.27). MBSR appeared feasible and acceptable to medical clerkship students and resulted in a small to moderate improvement of mental health compared with CAU over the 20-month follow-up.

  12. Effectiveness of music education for the improvement of reading skills and academic achievement in young poor readers: a pragmatic cluster-randomized, controlled clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cogo-Moreira, Hugo; Brandão de Ávila, Clara Regina; Ploubidis, George B; Mari, Jair de Jesus

    2013-01-01

    Difficulties in word-level reading skills are prevalent in Brazilian schools and may deter children from gaining the knowledge obtained through reading and academic achievement. Music education has emerged as a potential method to improve reading skills because due to a common neurobiological substratum. To evaluate the effectiveness of music education for the improvement of reading skills and academic achievement among children (eight to 10 years of age) with reading difficulties. 235 children with reading difficulties in 10 schools participated in a five-month, randomized clinical trial in cluster (RCT) in an impoverished zone within the city of São Paulo to test the effects of music education intervention while assessing reading skills and academic achievement during the school year. Five schools were chosen randomly to incorporate music classes (n = 114), and five served as controls (n = 121). Two different methods of analysis were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention: The standard method was intention-to-treat (ITT), and the other was the Complier Average Causal Effect (CACE) estimation method, which took compliance status into account. The ITT analyses were not very promising; only one marginal effect existed for the rate of correct real words read per minute. Indeed, considering ITT, improvements were observed in the secondary outcomes (slope of Portuguese = 0.21 [pmusic lessons as public policy.

  13. Effect of a web-based audit and feedback intervention with outreach visits on the clinical performance of multidisciplinary teams: a cluster-randomized trial in cardiac rehabilitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gude, Wouter T.; van Engen-Verheul, Mariëtte M.; van der Veer, Sabine N.; Kemps, Hareld M. C.; Jaspers, Monique W. M.; de Keizer, Nicolette F.; Peek, Niels

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the effect of a web-based audit and feedback (A&F) intervention with outreach visits to support decision-making by multidisciplinary teams. We performed a multicentre cluster-randomized trial within the field of comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation (CR) in

  14. Random clustering ferns for multimodal object recognition

    OpenAIRE

    Villamizar Vergel, Michael Alejandro; Garrell Zulueta, Anais; Sanfeliu Cortés, Alberto; Moreno-Noguer, Francesc

    2017-01-01

    The final publication is available at link.springer.com We propose an efficient and robust method for the recognition of objects exhibiting multiple intra-class modes, where each one is associated with a particular object appearance. The proposed method, called random clustering ferns, combines synergically a single and real-time classifier, based on the boosted assembling of extremely randomized trees (ferns), with an unsupervised and probabilistic approach in order to recognize efficient...

  15. Effectiveness of a Blended Multidisciplinary Intervention for Patients with Moderate Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (PARASOL): Protocol for a Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Westrienen, Paula Elisabeth; Pisters, Martijn F; Toonders, Suze Aj; Gerrits, Marloes; Veenhof, Cindy; de Wit, Niek J

    2018-05-08

    Medically unexplained physical symptoms are an important health problem in primary care, with a spectrum from mild to chronic. The burden of chronic medically unexplained physical symptoms is substantial for patients, health care professionals, and society. Therefore, early identification of patients with moderate medically unexplained physical symptoms is needed in order to prevent chronicity. The preventive screening of medically unexplained physical symptoms (PRESUME) screening method was developed using data from the electronic medical record of the patients' general practitioner and demonstrated its prognostic accuracy to identify patients with moderate medically unexplained physical symptoms. In the next step, we developed a proactive blended and integrated mental health and physical therapy intervention program (PARASOL) to reduce complaints of moderate medically unexplained physical symptoms, stimulate self-management, and prevent chronicity. The primary objective of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of the blended PARASOL intervention on the impact of symptoms and quality of life in patients with moderate medically unexplained physical symptoms compared with usual care. Secondary objectives are to study the effect on severity of physical and psychosocial symptoms, general health, physical behavior, illness perception, and self-efficacy in patients with moderate medically unexplained physical symptoms as well as to determine the cost-effectiveness of the program. This paper presents the study protocol of a multicenter cluster randomized clinical trial. Adult patients with moderate medically unexplained physical symptoms will be identified from electronic medical record data using the PRESUME screening method and proactively recruited for participation in the study. Cluster randomization will be performed at the level of the participating health care centers. In total 248 patients with moderate medically unexplained physical symptoms (124

  16. Strengthening health human resources and improving clinical outcomes through an integrated guideline and educational outreach in resource-poor settings: a cluster-randomized trial

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    Burciul Barry

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In low-income countries, only about a third of Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS patients eligible for anti-retroviral treatment currently receive it. Providing decentralized treatment close to where patients live is crucial to a faster scale up, however, a key obstacle is limited health system capacity due to a shortage of trained health-care workers and challenges of integrating HIV/AIDS care with other primary care services (e.g. tuberculosis, malaria, respiratory conditions. This study will test an adapted primary care health care worker training and guideline intervention, Practical Approach to Lung Health and HIV/AIDS Malawi (PALM PLUS, on staff retention and satisfaction, and quality of patient care. Methods/Design A cluster-randomized trial design is being used to compare usual care with a standardized clinical guideline and training intervention, PALM PLUS. The intervention targets middle-cadre health care workers (nurses, clinical officers, medical assistants in 30 rural primary care health centres in a single district in Malawi. PALM PLUS is an integrated, symptom-based and user-friendly guideline consistent with Malawian national treatment protocols. Training is standardized and based on an educational outreach approach. Trainers will be front-line peer healthcare workers trained to provide outreach training and support to their fellow front-line healthcare workers during focused (1-2 hours, intermittent, interactive sessions on-site in health centers. Primary outcomes are health care worker retention and satisfaction. Secondary outcomes are clinical outcomes measured at the health centre level for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, prevention-of-mother-to-child-transmission of HIV and other primary care conditions. Effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals for outcomes will be presented. Assessment of outcomes will occur at 1 year post- implementation. Discussion The PALM PLUS trial

  17. Effectiveness of music education for the improvement of reading skills and academic achievement in young poor readers: a pragmatic cluster-randomized, controlled clinical trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo Cogo-Moreira

    Full Text Available Difficulties in word-level reading skills are prevalent in Brazilian schools and may deter children from gaining the knowledge obtained through reading and academic achievement. Music education has emerged as a potential method to improve reading skills because due to a common neurobiological substratum.To evaluate the effectiveness of music education for the improvement of reading skills and academic achievement among children (eight to 10 years of age with reading difficulties.235 children with reading difficulties in 10 schools participated in a five-month, randomized clinical trial in cluster (RCT in an impoverished zone within the city of São Paulo to test the effects of music education intervention while assessing reading skills and academic achievement during the school year. Five schools were chosen randomly to incorporate music classes (n = 114, and five served as controls (n = 121. Two different methods of analysis were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention: The standard method was intention-to-treat (ITT, and the other was the Complier Average Causal Effect (CACE estimation method, which took compliance status into account.The ITT analyses were not very promising; only one marginal effect existed for the rate of correct real words read per minute. Indeed, considering ITT, improvements were observed in the secondary outcomes (slope of Portuguese = 0.21 [p<0.001] and slope of math = 0.25 [p<0.001]. As for CACE estimation (i.e., complier children versus non-complier children, more promising effects were observed in terms of the rate of correct words read per minute [β = 13.98, p<0.001] and phonological awareness [β = 19.72, p<0.001] as well as secondary outcomes (academic achievement in Portuguese [β = 0.77, p<0.0001] and math [β = 0.49, p<0.001] throughout the school year.The results may be seen as promising, but they are not, in themselves, enough to make music lessons as public

  18. Potential for Controlling Cholera Using a Ring Vaccination Strategy: Re-analysis of Data from a Cluster-Randomized Clinical Trial.

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    Mohammad Ali

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Vaccinating a buffer of individuals around a case (ring vaccination has the potential to target those who are at highest risk of infection, reducing the number of doses needed to control a disease. We explored the potential vaccine effectiveness (VE of oral cholera vaccines (OCVs for such a strategy.This analysis uses existing data from a cluster-randomized clinical trial in which OCV or placebo was given to 71,900 participants in Kolkata, India, from 27 July to 10 September 2006. Cholera surveillance was then conducted on 144,106 individuals living in the study area, including trial participants, for 5 y following vaccination. First, we explored the risk of cholera among contacts of cholera patients, and, second, we measured VE among individuals living within 25 m of cholera cases between 8 and 28 d after onset of the index case. For the first analysis, individuals living around each index case identified during the 5-y period were assembled using a ring to define cohorts of individuals exposed to cholera index cases. An index control without cholera was randomly selected for each index case from the same population, matched by age group, and individuals living around each index control were assembled using a ring to define cohorts not exposed to cholera cases. Cholera attack rates among the exposed and non-exposed cohorts were compared using different distances from the index case/control to define the rings and different time frames to define the period at risk. For the VE analysis, the exposed cohorts were further stratified according to the level of vaccine coverage into high and low coverage strata. Overall VE was assessed by comparing the attack rates between high and low vaccine coverage strata irrespective of individuals' vaccination status, and indirect VE was assessed by comparing the attack rates among unvaccinated members between high and low vaccine coverage strata. Cholera risk among the cohort exposed to cholera cases was 5

  19. A cluster randomized trial to assess the impact of clinical pathways for patients with stroke: rationale and design of the Clinical Pathways for Effective and Appropriate Care Study [NCT00673491

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    Barbieri Antonella

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Patients with stroke should have access to a continuum of care from organized stroke units in the acute phase, to appropriate rehabilitation and secondary prevention measures. Moreover to improve the outcomes for acute stroke patients from an organizational perspective, the use of multidisciplinary teams and the delivery of continuous stroke education both to the professionals and to the public, and the implementation of evidence-based stroke care are recommended. Clinical pathways are complex interventions that can be used for this purpose. However in stroke care the use of clinical pathways remains questionable because little prospective controlled data has demonstrated their effectiveness. The purpose of this study is to determine whether clinical pathways could improve the quality of the care provided to the patients affected by stroke in hospital and through the continuum of the care. Methods Two-arm, cluster-randomized trial with hospitals and rehabilitation long-term care facilities as randomization units. 14 units will be randomized either to arm 1 (clinical pathway or to arm 2 (no intervention, usual care. The sample will include 238 in each group, this gives a power of 80%, at 5% significance level. The primary outcome measure is 30-days mortality. The impact of the clinical pathways along the continuum of care will also be analyzed by comparing the length of hospital stay, the hospital re-admissions rates, the institutionalization rates after hospital discharge, the patients' dependency levels, and complication rates. The quality of the care provided to the patients will be assessed by monitoring the use of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures during hospital stay and rehabilitation, and by the use of key quality indicators at discharge. The implementation of organized care will be also evaluated. Conclusion The management of patients affected by stroke involves the expertise of several professionals, which can

  20. Long term effect of depression care management on mortality in older adults: follow-up of cluster randomized clinical trial in primary care

    OpenAIRE

    Gallo, Joseph J; Morales, Knashawn H; Bogner, Hillary R; Raue, Patrick J; Zee, Jarcy; Bruce, Martha L; Reynolds, Charles F

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate whether an intervention to improve treatment of depression in older adults in primary care modified the increased risk of death associated with depression. Design Long term follow-up of multi-site practice randomized controlled trial (PROSPECT?Prevention of Suicide in Primary Care Elderly: Collaborative Trial). Setting 20 primary care practices in New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, USA, randomized to intervention or usual care. Participants 1226 participants...

  1. Training family physicians and residents in family medicine in shared decision making to improve clinical decisions regarding the use of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections: protocol for a clustered randomized controlled trial

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    Frémont Pierre

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To explore ways to reduce the overuse of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections (ARIs, we conducted a pilot clustered randomized controlled trial (RCT to evaluate DECISION+, a training program in shared decision making (SDM for family physicians (FPs. This pilot project demonstrated the feasibility of conducting a large clustered RCT and showed that DECISION+ reduced the proportion of patients who decided to use antibiotics immediately after consulting their physician. Consequently, the objective of this study is to evaluate, in patients consulting for ARIs, if exposure of physicians to a modified version of DECISION+, DECISION+2, would reduce the proportion of patients who decide to use antibiotics immediately after consulting their physician. Methods/design The study is a multi-center, two-arm, parallel clustered RCT. The 12 family practice teaching units (FPTUs in the network of the Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine of Université Laval will be randomized to a DECISION+2 intervention group (experimental group or to a no-intervention control group. These FPTUs will recruit patients consulting family physicians and residents in family medicine enrolled in the study. There will be two data collection periods: pre-intervention (baseline including 175 patients with ARIs in each study arm, and post-intervention including 175 patients with ARIs in each study arm (total n = 700. The primary outcome will be the proportion of patients reporting a decision to use antibiotics immediately after consulting their physician. Secondary outcome measures include: 1 physicians and patients' decisional conflict; 2 the agreement between the parties' decisional conflict scores; and 3 perception of patients and physicians that SDM occurred. Also in patients, at 2 weeks follow-up, adherence to the decision, consultation for the same reason, decisional regret, and quality of life will be assessed. Finally, in both patients

  2. Measurement Error Correction Formula for Cluster-Level Group Differences in Cluster Randomized and Observational Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Sun-Joo; Preacher, Kristopher J.

    2016-01-01

    Multilevel modeling (MLM) is frequently used to detect cluster-level group differences in cluster randomized trial and observational studies. Group differences on the outcomes (posttest scores) are detected by controlling for the covariate (pretest scores) as a proxy variable for unobserved factors that predict future attributes. The pretest and…

  3. Personalized PageRank Clustering: A graph clustering algorithm based on random walks

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Tabrizi, Shayan; Shakery, Azadeh; Asadpour, Masoud; Abbasi, Maziar; Tavallaie, Mohammad Ali

    2013-11-01

    Graph clustering has been an essential part in many methods and thus its accuracy has a significant effect on many applications. In addition, exponential growth of real-world graphs such as social networks, biological networks and electrical circuits demands clustering algorithms with nearly-linear time and space complexity. In this paper we propose Personalized PageRank Clustering (PPC) that employs the inherent cluster exploratory property of random walks to reveal the clusters of a given graph. We combine random walks and modularity to precisely and efficiently reveal the clusters of a graph. PPC is a top-down algorithm so it can reveal inherent clusters of a graph more accurately than other nearly-linear approaches that are mainly bottom-up. It also gives a hierarchy of clusters that is useful in many applications. PPC has a linear time and space complexity and has been superior to most of the available clustering algorithms on many datasets. Furthermore, its top-down approach makes it a flexible solution for clustering problems with different requirements.

  4. Effectiveness of an intervention for improving drug prescription in primary care patients with multimorbidity and polypharmacy : study protocol of a cluster randomized clinical trial (Multi-PAP project)

    OpenAIRE

    Prados-Torres, Alexandra; del Cura-González, Isabel; Prados-Torres, Daniel; López-Rodríguez, Juan A.; Leiva-Fernández, Francisca; Calderón-Larrañaga, Amaia; López-Verde, Fernando; Gimeno-Feliu, Luis A.; Escortell-Mayor, Esperanza; Pico-Soler, Victoria; Sanz-Cuesta, Teresa; Bujalance-Zafra, M. Josefa; Morey-Montalvo, Mariel; Boxó-Cifuentes, José Ramón; Poblador-Plou, Beatriz

    2017-01-01

    Background Multimorbidity is associated with negative effects both on people?s health and on healthcare systems. A key problem linked to multimorbidity is polypharmacy, which in turn is associated with increased risk of partly preventable adverse effects, including mortality. The Ariadne principles describe a model of care based on a thorough assessment of diseases, treatments (and potential interactions), clinical status, context and preferences of patients with multimorbidity, with the aim ...

  5. Relative efficiency and sample size for cluster randomized trials with variable cluster sizes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Zhiying; Williams, O Dale; Aban, Inmaculada; Kabagambe, Edmond Kato; Tiwari, Hemant K; Cutter, Gary

    2011-02-01

    The statistical power of cluster randomized trials depends on two sample size components, the number of clusters per group and the numbers of individuals within clusters (cluster size). Variable cluster sizes are common and this variation alone may have significant impact on study power. Previous approaches have taken this into account by either adjusting total sample size using a designated design effect or adjusting the number of clusters according to an assessment of the relative efficiency of unequal versus equal cluster sizes. This article defines a relative efficiency of unequal versus equal cluster sizes using noncentrality parameters, investigates properties of this measure, and proposes an approach for adjusting the required sample size accordingly. We focus on comparing two groups with normally distributed outcomes using t-test, and use the noncentrality parameter to define the relative efficiency of unequal versus equal cluster sizes and show that statistical power depends only on this parameter for a given number of clusters. We calculate the sample size required for an unequal cluster sizes trial to have the same power as one with equal cluster sizes. Relative efficiency based on the noncentrality parameter is straightforward to calculate and easy to interpret. It connects the required mean cluster size directly to the required sample size with equal cluster sizes. Consequently, our approach first determines the sample size requirements with equal cluster sizes for a pre-specified study power and then calculates the required mean cluster size while keeping the number of clusters unchanged. Our approach allows adjustment in mean cluster size alone or simultaneous adjustment in mean cluster size and number of clusters, and is a flexible alternative to and a useful complement to existing methods. Comparison indicated that we have defined a relative efficiency that is greater than the relative efficiency in the literature under some conditions. Our measure

  6. An embedded longitudinal multi-faceted qualitative evaluation of a complex cluster randomized controlled trial aiming to reduce clinically important errors in medicines management in general practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cresswell Kathrin M

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is a need to shed light on the pathways through which complex interventions mediate their effects in order to enable critical reflection on their transferability. We sought to explore and understand key stakeholder accounts of the acceptability, likely impact and strategies for optimizing and rolling-out a successful pharmacist-led information technology-enabled (PINCER intervention, which substantially reduced the risk of clinically important errors in medicines management in primary care. Methods Data were collected at two geographical locations in central England through a combination of one-to-one longitudinal semi-structured telephone interviews (one at the beginning of the trial and another when the trial was well underway, relevant documents, and focus group discussions following delivery of the PINCER intervention. Participants included PINCER pharmacists, general practice staff, researchers involved in the running of the trial, and primary care trust staff. PINCER pharmacists were interviewed at three different time-points during the delivery of the PINCER intervention. Analysis was thematic with diffusion of innovation theory providing a theoretical framework. Results We conducted 52 semi-structured telephone interviews and six focus group discussions with 30 additional participants. In addition, documentary data were collected from six pharmacist diaries, along with notes from four meetings of the PINCER pharmacists and feedback meetings from 34 practices. Key findings that helped to explain the success of the PINCER intervention included the perceived importance of focusing on prescribing errors to all stakeholders, and the credibility and appropriateness of a pharmacist-led intervention to address these shortcomings. Central to this was the face-to-face contact and relationship building between pharmacists and a range of practice staff, and pharmacists’ explicitly designated role as a change agent

  7. Dentists United to Extinguish Tobacco (DUET): a study protocol for a cluster randomized, controlled trial for enhancing implementation of clinical practice guidelines for treating tobacco dependence in dental care settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostroff, Jamie S; Li, Yuelin; Shelley, Donna R

    2014-02-21

    Although dental care settings provide an exceptional opportunity to reach smokers and provide brief cessation advice and treatment to reduce oral and other tobacco-related health conditions, dental care providers demonstrate limited adherence to evidence-based guidelines for treatment of tobacco use and dependence. Guided by a multi-level, conceptual framework that emphasizes changes in provider beliefs and organizational characteristics as drivers of improvement in tobacco treatment delivery, the current protocol will use a cluster, randomized design and multiple data sources (patient exit interviews, provider surveys, site observations, chart audits, and semi-structured provider interviews) to study the process of implementing clinical practice guidelines for treating tobacco dependence in 18 public dental care clinics in New York City. The specific aims of this comparative-effectiveness research trial are to: compare the effectiveness of three promising strategies for implementation of tobacco use treatment guidelines-staff training and current best practices (CBP), CBP + provider performance feedback (PF), and CBP + PF + provider reimbursement for delivery of tobacco cessation treatment (pay-for-performance, or P4P); examine potential theory-driven mechanisms hypothesized to explain the comparative effectiveness of three strategies for implementation; and identify baseline organizational factors that influence the implementation of evidence-based tobacco use treatment practices in dental clinics. The primary outcome is change in providers' tobacco treatment practices and the secondary outcomes are cost per quit, use of tobacco cessation treatments, quit attempts, and smoking abstinence. We hypothesize that the value of these promising implementation strategies is additive and that incorporating all three strategies (CBP, PF, and P4P) will be superior to CBP alone and CBP + PF in improving delivery of cessation assistance to smokers. The findings

  8. Exploring biological network structure with clustered random networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bansal Shweta

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Complex biological systems are often modeled as networks of interacting units. Networks of biochemical interactions among proteins, epidemiological contacts among hosts, and trophic interactions in ecosystems, to name a few, have provided useful insights into the dynamical processes that shape and traverse these systems. The degrees of nodes (numbers of interactions and the extent of clustering (the tendency for a set of three nodes to be interconnected are two of many well-studied network properties that can fundamentally shape a system. Disentangling the interdependent effects of the various network properties, however, can be difficult. Simple network models can help us quantify the structure of empirical networked systems and understand the impact of various topological properties on dynamics. Results Here we develop and implement a new Markov chain simulation algorithm to generate simple, connected random graphs that have a specified degree sequence and level of clustering, but are random in all other respects. The implementation of the algorithm (ClustRNet: Clustered Random Networks provides the generation of random graphs optimized according to a local or global, and relative or absolute measure of clustering. We compare our algorithm to other similar methods and show that ours more successfully produces desired network characteristics. Finding appropriate null models is crucial in bioinformatics research, and is often difficult, particularly for biological networks. As we demonstrate, the networks generated by ClustRNet can serve as random controls when investigating the impacts of complex network features beyond the byproduct of degree and clustering in empirical networks. Conclusion ClustRNet generates ensembles of graphs of specified edge structure and clustering. These graphs allow for systematic study of the impacts of connectivity and redundancies on network function and dynamics. This process is a key step in

  9. Functional Principal Component Analysis and Randomized Sparse Clustering Algorithm for Medical Image Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Nan; Jiang, Junhai; Guo, Shicheng; Xiong, Momiao

    2015-01-01

    Due to the advancement in sensor technology, the growing large medical image data have the ability to visualize the anatomical changes in biological tissues. As a consequence, the medical images have the potential to enhance the diagnosis of disease, the prediction of clinical outcomes and the characterization of disease progression. But in the meantime, the growing data dimensions pose great methodological and computational challenges for the representation and selection of features in image cluster analysis. To address these challenges, we first extend the functional principal component analysis (FPCA) from one dimension to two dimensions to fully capture the space variation of image the signals. The image signals contain a large number of redundant features which provide no additional information for clustering analysis. The widely used methods for removing the irrelevant features are sparse clustering algorithms using a lasso-type penalty to select the features. However, the accuracy of clustering using a lasso-type penalty depends on the selection of the penalty parameters and the threshold value. In practice, they are difficult to determine. Recently, randomized algorithms have received a great deal of attentions in big data analysis. This paper presents a randomized algorithm for accurate feature selection in image clustering analysis. The proposed method is applied to both the liver and kidney cancer histology image data from the TCGA database. The results demonstrate that the randomized feature selection method coupled with functional principal component analysis substantially outperforms the current sparse clustering algorithms in image cluster analysis. PMID:26196383

  10. Cluster Tails for Critical Power-Law Inhomogeneous Random Graphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hofstad, Remco; Kliem, Sandra; van Leeuwaarden, Johan S. H.

    2018-04-01

    Recently, the scaling limit of cluster sizes for critical inhomogeneous random graphs of rank-1 type having finite variance but infinite third moment degrees was obtained in Bhamidi et al. (Ann Probab 40:2299-2361, 2012). It was proved that when the degrees obey a power law with exponent τ \\in (3,4), the sequence of clusters ordered in decreasing size and multiplied through by n^{-(τ -2)/(τ -1)} converges as n→ ∞ to a sequence of decreasing non-degenerate random variables. Here, we study the tails of the limit of the rescaled largest cluster, i.e., the probability that the scaling limit of the largest cluster takes a large value u, as a function of u. This extends a related result of Pittel (J Combin Theory Ser B 82(2):237-269, 2001) for the Erdős-Rényi random graph to the setting of rank-1 inhomogeneous random graphs with infinite third moment degrees. We make use of delicate large deviations and weak convergence arguments.

  11. Cluster tails for critical power-law inhomogeneous random graphs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Hofstad, R.; Kliem, S.; van Leeuwaarden, J.S.H.

    2018-01-01

    Recently, the scaling limit of cluster sizes for critical inhomogeneous random graphs of rank-1 type having finite variance but infinite third moment degrees was obtained in Bhamidi et al. (Ann Probab 40:2299–2361, 2012). It was proved that when the degrees obey a power law with exponent τ∈ (3 , 4)

  12. The dilute random field Ising model by finite cluster approximation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benyoussef, A.; Saber, M.

    1987-09-01

    Using the finite cluster approximation, phase diagrams of bond and site diluted three-dimensional simple cubic Ising models with a random field have been determined. The resulting phase diagrams have the same general features for both bond and site dilution. (author). 7 refs, 4 figs

  13. A cluster expansion approach to exponential random graph models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yin, Mei

    2012-01-01

    The exponential family of random graphs are among the most widely studied network models. We show that any exponential random graph model may alternatively be viewed as a lattice gas model with a finite Banach space norm. The system may then be treated using cluster expansion methods from statistical mechanics. In particular, we derive a convergent power series expansion for the limiting free energy in the case of small parameters. Since the free energy is the generating function for the expectations of other random variables, this characterizes the structure and behavior of the limiting network in this parameter region

  14. The Design of Cluster Randomized Trials with Random Cross-Classifications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerbeek, Mirjam; Safarkhani, Maryam

    2018-01-01

    Data from cluster randomized trials do not always have a pure hierarchical structure. For instance, students are nested within schools that may be crossed by neighborhoods, and soldiers are nested within army units that may be crossed by mental health-care professionals. It is important that the random cross-classification is taken into account…

  15. Universal Prevention for Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Children: A Meta-analysis of Randomized and Cluster-Randomized Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlen, Johan; Lenhard, Fabian; Ghaderi, Ata

    2015-12-01

    Although under-diagnosed, anxiety and depression are among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents, leading to severe impairment, increased risk of future psychiatric problems, and a high economic burden to society. Universal prevention may be a potent way to address these widespread problems. There are several benefits to universal relative to targeted interventions because there is limited knowledge as to how to screen for anxiety and depression in the general population. Earlier meta-analyses of the prevention of depression and anxiety symptoms among children suffer from methodological inadequacies such as combining universal, selective, and indicated interventions in the same analyses, and comparing cluster-randomized trials with randomized trials without any correction for clustering effects. The present meta-analysis attempted to determine the effectiveness of universal interventions to prevent anxiety and depressive symptoms after correcting for clustering effects. A systematic search of randomized studies in PsychINFO, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar resulted in 30 eligible studies meeting inclusion criteria, namely peer-reviewed, randomized or cluster-randomized trials of universal interventions for anxiety and depressive symptoms in school-aged children. Sixty-three percent of the studies reported outcome data regarding anxiety and 87 % reported outcome data regarding depression. Seventy percent of the studies used randomization at the cluster level. There were small but significant effects regarding anxiety (.13) and depressive (.11) symptoms as measured at immediate posttest. At follow-up, which ranged from 3 to 48 months, effects were significantly larger than zero regarding depressive (.07) but not anxiety (.11) symptoms. There was no significant moderation effect of the following pre-selected variables: the primary aim of the intervention (anxiety or depression), deliverer of the intervention, gender distribution

  16. Person mobility in the design and analysis of cluster-randomized cohort prevention trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuchinich, Sam; Flay, Brian R; Aber, Lawrence; Bickman, Leonard

    2012-06-01

    Person mobility is an inescapable fact of life for most cluster-randomized (e.g., schools, hospitals, clinic, cities, state) cohort prevention trials. Mobility rates are an important substantive consideration in estimating the effects of an intervention. In cluster-randomized trials, mobility rates are often correlated with ethnicity, poverty and other variables associated with disparity. This raises the possibility that estimated intervention effects may generalize to only the least mobile segments of a population and, thus, create a threat to external validity. Such mobility can also create threats to the internal validity of conclusions from randomized trials. Researchers must decide how to deal with persons who leave study clusters during a trial (dropouts), persons and clusters that do not comply with an assigned intervention, and persons who enter clusters during a trial (late entrants), in addition to the persons who remain for the duration of a trial (stayers). Statistical techniques alone cannot solve the key issues of internal and external validity raised by the phenomenon of person mobility. This commentary presents a systematic, Campbellian-type analysis of person mobility in cluster-randomized cohort prevention trials. It describes four approaches for dealing with dropouts, late entrants and stayers with respect to data collection, analysis and generalizability. The questions at issue are: 1) From whom should data be collected at each wave of data collection? 2) Which cases should be included in the analyses of an intervention effect? and 3) To what populations can trial results be generalized? The conclusions lead to recommendations for the design and analysis of future cluster-randomized cohort prevention trials.

  17. Psychosocial benefits of workplace physical exercise: cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobsen, Markus D; Sundstrup, Emil; Brandt, Mikkel; Andersen, Lars L

    2017-10-10

    While benefits of workplace physical exercise on physical health is well known, little is known about the psychosocial effects of such initiatives. This study evaluates the effect of workplace versus home-based physical exercise on psychosocial factors among healthcare workers. A total of 200 female healthcare workers (Age: 42.0, BMI: 24.1) from 18 departments at three hospitals were cluster-randomized to 10 weeks of: 1) home-based physical exercise (HOME) performed alone during leisure time for 10 min 5 days per week or 2) workplace physical exercise (WORK) performed in groups during working hours for 10 min 5 days per week and up to 5 group-based coaching sessions on motivation for regular physical exercise. Vitality and mental health (SF-36, scale 0-100), psychosocial work environment (COPSOQ, scale 0-100), work- and leisure disability (DASH, 0-100), control- (Bournemouth, scale 0-10) and concern about pain (Pain Catastrophizing Scale, scale 0-10) were assessed at baseline and at 10-week follow-up. Vitality as well as control and concern about pain improved more following WORK than HOME (all p health remained unchanged. Between-group differences at follow-up (WORK vs. HOME) were 7 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 3 to 10] for vitality, -0.8 [95% CI -1.3 to -0.3] for control of pain and -0.9 [95% CI -1.4 to -0.5] for concern about pain, respectively. Performing physical exercise together with colleagues during working hours was more effective than home-based exercise in improving vitality and concern and control of pain among healthcare workers. These benefits occurred in spite of increased work pace. NCT01921764 at ClinicalTrials.gov . Registered 10 August 2013.

  18. A pilot cluster randomized controlled trial of structured goal-setting following stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, William J; Brown, Melanie; William, Levack; McPherson, Kathryn M; Reed, Kirk; Dean, Sarah G; Weatherall, Mark

    2012-04-01

    To determine the feasibility, the cluster design effect and the variance and minimal clinical importance difference in the primary outcome in a pilot study of a structured approach to goal-setting. A cluster randomized controlled trial. Inpatient rehabilitation facilities. People who were admitted to inpatient rehabilitation following stroke who had sufficient cognition to engage in structured goal-setting and complete the primary outcome measure. Structured goal elicitation using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Quality of life at 12 weeks using the Schedule for Individualised Quality of Life (SEIQOL-DW), Functional Independence Measure, Short Form 36 and Patient Perception of Rehabilitation (measuring satisfaction with rehabilitation). Assessors were blinded to the intervention. Four rehabilitation services and 41 patients were randomized. We found high values of the intraclass correlation for the outcome measures (ranging from 0.03 to 0.40) and high variance of the SEIQOL-DW (SD 19.6) in relation to the minimally importance difference of 2.1, leading to impractically large sample size requirements for a cluster randomized design. A cluster randomized design is not a practical means of avoiding contamination effects in studies of inpatient rehabilitation goal-setting. Other techniques for coping with contamination effects are necessary.

  19. Representing Degree Distributions, Clustering, and Homophily in Social Networks With Latent Cluster Random Effects Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krivitsky, Pavel N; Handcock, Mark S; Raftery, Adrian E; Hoff, Peter D

    2009-07-01

    Social network data often involve transitivity, homophily on observed attributes, clustering, and heterogeneity of actor degrees. We propose a latent cluster random effects model to represent all of these features, and we describe a Bayesian estimation method for it. The model is applicable to both binary and non-binary network data. We illustrate the model using two real datasets. We also apply it to two simulated network datasets with the same, highly skewed, degree distribution, but very different network behavior: one unstructured and the other with transitivity and clustering. Models based on degree distributions, such as scale-free, preferential attachment and power-law models, cannot distinguish between these very different situations, but our model does.

  20. The clustering of local maxima in random noise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coles, P.

    1989-01-01

    A mixture of analytic and numerical techniques is used to study the clustering properties of local maxima of random noise. Technical complexities restrict us to the case of 1D noise, but the results obtained should give a reasonably accurate picture of the behaviour of cosmological density peaks in noise defined on a 3D domain. We give estimates of the two-point correlation function of local maxima, for both Gaussian and non-Gaussian noise and show that previous approximations are not accurate. (author)

  1. The random cluster model and a new integration identity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, L C; Wu, F Y

    2005-01-01

    We evaluate the free energy of the random cluster model at its critical point for 0 -1 (√q/2) is a rational number. As a by-product, our consideration leads to a closed-form evaluation of the integral 1/(4π 2 ) ∫ 0 2π dΘ ∫ 0 2π dΦ ln[A+B+C - AcosΘ - BcosΦ - Ccos(Θ+Φ)] = -ln(2S) + (2/π)[Ti 2 (AS) + Ti 2 (BS) + Ti 2 (CS)], which arises in lattice statistics, where A, B, C ≥ 0 and S=1/√(AB + BC + CA)

  2. HOXA genes cluster: clinical implications of the smallest deletion

    OpenAIRE

    Pezzani, Lidia; Milani, Donatella; Manzoni, Francesca; Baccarin, Marco; Silipigni, Rosamaria; Guerneri, Silvana; Esposito, Susanna

    2015-01-01

    Background HOXA genes cluster plays a fundamental role in embryologic development. Deletion of the entire cluster is known to cause a clinically recognizable syndrome with mild developmental delay, characteristic facies, small feet with unusually short and big halluces, abnormal thumbs, and urogenital malformations. The clinical manifestations may vary with different ranges of deletions of HOXA cluster and flanking regions. Case presentation We report a girl with the smallest deletion reporte...

  3. Blinding in randomized clinical trials: imposed impartiality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hróbjartsson, A; Boutron, I

    2011-01-01

    Blinding, or "masking," is a crucial method for reducing bias in randomized clinical trials. In this paper, we review important methodological aspects of blinding, emphasizing terminology, reporting, bias mechanisms, empirical evidence, and the risk of unblinding. Theoretical considerations...

  4. A Random Walk Approach to Query Informative Constraints for Clustering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abin, Ahmad Ali

    2017-08-09

    This paper presents a random walk approach to the problem of querying informative constraints for clustering. The proposed method is based on the properties of the commute time, that is the expected time taken for a random walk to travel between two nodes and return, on the adjacency graph of data. Commute time has the nice property of that, the more short paths connect two given nodes in a graph, the more similar those nodes are. Since computing the commute time takes the Laplacian eigenspectrum into account, we use this property in a recursive fashion to query informative constraints for clustering. At each recursion, the proposed method constructs the adjacency graph of data and utilizes the spectral properties of the commute time matrix to bipartition the adjacency graph. Thereafter, the proposed method benefits from the commute times distance on graph to query informative constraints between partitions. This process iterates for each partition until the stop condition becomes true. Experiments on real-world data show the efficiency of the proposed method for constraints selection.

  5. Complementary feeding: a Global Network cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasha Omrana

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inadequate and inappropriate complementary feeding are major factors contributing to excess morbidity and mortality in young children in low resource settings. Animal source foods in particular are cited as essential to achieve micronutrient requirements. The efficacy of the recommendation for regular meat consumption, however, has not been systematically evaluated. Methods/Design A cluster randomized efficacy trial was designed to test the hypothesis that 12 months of daily intake of beef added as a complementary food would result in greater linear growth velocity than a micronutrient fortified equi-caloric rice-soy cereal supplement. The study is being conducted in 4 sites of the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research located in Guatemala, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC and Zambia in communities with toddler stunting rates of at least 20%. Five clusters per country were randomized to each of the food arms, with 30 infants in each cluster. The daily meat or cereal supplement was delivered to the home by community coordinators, starting when the infants were 6 months of age and continuing through 18 months. All participating mothers received nutrition education messages to enhance complementary feeding practices delivered by study coordinators and through posters at the local health center. Outcome measures, obtained at 6, 9, 12, and 18 months by a separate assessment team, included anthropometry; dietary variety and diversity scores; biomarkers of iron, zinc and Vitamin B12 status (18 months; neurocognitive development (12 and 18 months; and incidence of infectious morbidity throughout the trial. The trial was supervised by a trial steering committee, and an independent data monitoring committee provided oversight for the safety and conduct of the trial. Discussion Findings from this trial will test the efficacy of daily intake of meat commencing at age 6 months and, if beneficial, will

  6. Childhood asthma clusters and response to therapy in clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Timothy S; Lemanske, Robert F; Mauger, David T; Fitzpatrick, Anne M; Sorkness, Christine A; Szefler, Stanley J; Gangnon, Ronald E; Page, C David; Jackson, Daniel J

    2014-02-01

    Childhood asthma clusters, or subclasses, have been developed by computational methods without evaluation of clinical utility. To replicate and determine whether childhood asthma clusters previously identified computationally in the Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP) are associated with treatment responses in Childhood Asthma Research and Education (CARE) Network clinical trials. A cluster assignment model was determined by using SARP participant data. A total of 611 participants 6 to 18 years old from 3 CARE trials were assigned to SARP pediatric clusters. Primary and secondary outcomes were analyzed by cluster in each trial. CARE participants were assigned to SARP clusters with high accuracy. Baseline characteristics were similar between SARP and CARE children of the same cluster. Treatment response in CARE trials was generally similar across clusters. However, with the caveat of a smaller sample size, children in the early-onset/severe-lung function cluster had best response with fluticasone/salmeterol (64% vs 23% 2.5× fluticasone and 13% fluticasone/montelukast in the Best ADd-on Therapy Giving Effective Responses trial; P = .011) and children in the early-onset/comorbidity cluster had the least clinical efficacy to treatments (eg, -0.076% change in FEV1 in the Characterizing Response to Leukotriene Receptor Antagonist and Inhaled Corticosteroid trial). In this study, we replicated SARP pediatric asthma clusters by using a separate, large clinical trials network. Early-onset/severe-lung function and early-onset/comorbidity clusters were associated with differential and limited response to therapy, respectively. Further prospective study of therapeutic response by cluster could provide new insights into childhood asthma treatment. Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Maximizing scientific knowledge from randomized clinical trials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustafsson, Finn; Atar, Dan; Pitt, Bertram

    2010-01-01

    Trialists have an ethical and financial responsibility to plan and conduct clinical trials in a manner that will maximize the scientific knowledge gained from the trial. However, the amount of scientific information generated by randomized clinical trials in cardiovascular medicine is highly vari...

  8. Spectra of random networks in the weak clustering regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peron, Thomas K. DM.; Ji, Peng; Kurths, Jürgen; Rodrigues, Francisco A.

    2018-03-01

    The asymptotic behavior of dynamical processes in networks can be expressed as a function of spectral properties of the corresponding adjacency and Laplacian matrices. Although many theoretical results are known for the spectra of traditional configuration models, networks generated through these models fail to describe many topological features of real-world networks, in particular non-null values of the clustering coefficient. Here we study effects of cycles of order three (triangles) in network spectra. By using recent advances in random matrix theory, we determine the spectral distribution of the network adjacency matrix as a function of the average number of triangles attached to each node for networks without modular structure and degree-degree correlations. Implications to network dynamics are discussed. Our findings can shed light in the study of how particular kinds of subgraphs influence network dynamics.

  9. Making birthing safe for Pakistan women: a cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khan Muhammad

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Two out of three neonatal deaths occur in just 10 countries and Pakistan stands third among them. Maternal mortality is also high with most deaths occurring during labor, birth, and first few hours after birth. Enhanced access and utilization of skilled delivery and emergency obstetric care is the demonstrated strategy in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality. This trial aims to compare reduction in neonate mortality and utilization of available safe birthing and Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care services among pregnant mothers receiving ‘structured birth planning’, and/or ‘transport facilitation’ compared to routine care. Methods A pragmatic cluster randomized trial, with qualitative and economic studies, will be conducted in Jhang, Chiniot and Khanewal districts of Punjab, Pakistan, from February 2011 to May 2013. At least 29,295 pregnancies will be registered in the three arms, seven clusters per arm; 1 structured birth planning and travel facilitation, 2 structured birth planning, and 3 control arm. Trial will be conducted through the Lady Health Worker program. Main outcomes are difference in neonatal mortality and service utilization; maternal mortality being the secondary outcome. Cluster level analysis will be done according to intention-to-treat. Discussion A nationwide network of about 100,000 lady health workers is already involved in antenatal and postnatal care of pregnant women. They also act as “gatekeepers” for the child birthing services. This gate keeping role mainly includes counseling and referral for skill birth attendance and travel arrangements for emergency obstetric care (if required. The review of current arrangements and practices show that the care delivery process needs enhancement to include adequate information provision as well as informed “decision” making and planned “action” by the pregnant women. The proposed three-year research is to develop, through national

  10. Re-estimating sample size in cluster randomized trials with active recruitment within clusters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Schie, Sander; Moerbeek, Mirjam

    2014-01-01

    Often only a limited number of clusters can be obtained in cluster randomised trials, although many potential participants can be recruited within each cluster. Thus, active recruitment is feasible within the clusters. To obtain an efficient sample size in a cluster randomised trial, the cluster

  11. Cluster analysis of clinical data identifies fibromyalgia subgroups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa Docampo

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Fibromyalgia (FM is mainly characterized by widespread pain and multiple accompanying symptoms, which hinder FM assessment and management. In order to reduce FM heterogeneity we classified clinical data into simplified dimensions that were used to define FM subgroups. MATERIAL AND METHODS: 48 variables were evaluated in 1,446 Spanish FM cases fulfilling 1990 ACR FM criteria. A partitioning analysis was performed to find groups of variables similar to each other. Similarities between variables were identified and the variables were grouped into dimensions. This was performed in a subset of 559 patients, and cross-validated in the remaining 887 patients. For each sample and dimension, a composite index was obtained based on the weights of the variables included in the dimension. Finally, a clustering procedure was applied to the indexes, resulting in FM subgroups. RESULTS: VARIABLES CLUSTERED INTO THREE INDEPENDENT DIMENSIONS: "symptomatology", "comorbidities" and "clinical scales". Only the two first dimensions were considered for the construction of FM subgroups. Resulting scores classified FM samples into three subgroups: low symptomatology and comorbidities (Cluster 1, high symptomatology and comorbidities (Cluster 2, and high symptomatology but low comorbidities (Cluster 3, showing differences in measures of disease severity. CONCLUSIONS: We have identified three subgroups of FM samples in a large cohort of FM by clustering clinical data. Our analysis stresses the importance of family and personal history of FM comorbidities. Also, the resulting patient clusters could indicate different forms of the disease, relevant to future research, and might have an impact on clinical assessment.

  12. Identifying clinical course patterns in SMS data using cluster analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kent, Peter; Kongsted, Alice

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Recently, there has been interest in using the short message service (SMS or text messaging), to gather frequent information on the clinical course of individual patients. One possible role for identifying clinical course patterns is to assist in exploring clinically important...... showed that clinical course patterns can be identified by cluster analysis using all SMS time points as cluster variables. This method is simple, intuitive and does not require a high level of statistical skill. However, there are alternative ways of managing SMS data and many different methods...

  13. On the limiting characteristics of quantum random number generators at various clusterings of photocounts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molotkov, S. N.

    2017-03-01

    Various methods for the clustering of photocounts constituting a sequence of random numbers are considered. It is shown that the clustering of photocounts resulting in the Fermi-Dirac distribution makes it possible to achieve the theoretical limit of the random number generation rate.

  14. The effect of physician and patient education when combined with vardenafil treatment in Canadian males with erectile dysfunction: an open-label, factorial-designed, cluster-randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, Gerald; Carrier, Serge; Alarie, Pierre; Pommerville, Peter; Casey, Richard; Harris, Stewart; Ward, Richard

    2008-03-01

    Studies evaluating the effect of education on treatment success with phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor therapy in men with erectile dysfunction (ED) are limited. Additional education of the primary care physician (PCP) and the patient are thought to optimize the treatment of ED. To assess the impact of education of the PCP or of the patient in the treatment of ED with vardenafil relative to usual care. In this 12-week, open-label, multicenter, factorial-designed, cluster-randomized Canadian study, 1,029 patients with ED were enrolled into four different education groups: usual care, patient education, PCP education, and both PCP and patient education. All groups started on vardenafil 10 mg, with the option to titrate at weeks 4 and 8. The primary efficacy measure was the difference at week 4 last observation carried forward (LOCF) in the overall improvement in erectile function (EF) as measured by the Global Assessment Question (GAQ), while on background vardenafil, between those receiving education vs. those who did not. Other secondary assessments included responses to diary questions regarding penetration (sexual encounter profile, SEP2) and erection maintenance (SEP3), and to questionnaires regarding treatment satisfaction (Erectile Dysfunction Inventory of Treatment Satisfaction [EDITS]). A total of 956 patients were included in the intent-to-treat population. Mean baseline International Index of Erectile Function-EF domain score was 13. GAQ response rates at week 4 LOCF were high (>80%) for all groups, regardless of the education given. Mean per patient SEP2 and SEP3 rates at week 12 LOCF were 86-89% and 79-83%, respectively. In an exploratory analysis, a positive relationship between GAQ responses and EDITS scores was observed (P satisfaction regardless of the education given. The benefits of education for PCP and patients in Canada were possibly masked by a ceiling effect in this study population.

  15. Cluster Headache: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Clinical Features, and Diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Diana Yi-Ting; Yuan Ong, Jonathan Jia; Goadsby, Peter James

    2018-04-01

    Cluster headache is a primary headache disorder affecting up to 0.1% of the population. Patients suffer from cluster headache attacks lasting from 15 to 180 min up to 8 times a day. The attacks are characterized by the severe unilateral pain mainly in the first division of the trigeminal nerve, with associated prominent unilateral cranial autonomic symptoms and a sense of agitation and restlessness during the attacks. The male-to-female ratio is approximately 2.5:1. Experimental, clinical, and neuroimaging studies have advanced our understanding of the pathogenesis of cluster headache. The pathophysiology involves activation of the trigeminovascular complex and the trigeminal-autonomic reflex and accounts for the unilateral severe headache, the prominent ipsilateral cranial autonomic symptoms. In addition, the circadian and circannual rhythmicity unique to this condition is postulated to involve the hypothalamus and suprachiasmatic nucleus. Although the clinical features are distinct, it may be misdiagnosed, with patients often presenting to the otolaryngologist or dentist with symptoms. The prognosis of cluster headache remains difficult to predict. Patients with episodic cluster headache can shift to chronic cluster headache and vice versa. Longitudinally, cluster headache tends to remit with age with less frequent bouts and more prolonged periods of remission in between bouts.

  16. A systematic review of the usage of flow diagram in cluster randomized trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kostić M.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Flow diagram represent an integral part of consolidated standards of reporting trials (CONSORT. Its use in reporting cluster randomization trials is highly recommended. The aim of this article is to present frequency of the use of flow diagram in cluster randomized trials in accordance with standards of reporting. The team has researched Medline database and singled-out 474 studies with cluster randomization for analysis. The studies were reviewed to identify the use of graphic representation, compliance with standards of reporting and the date when study was published. Depending from its duration, studies were divided on completed, and those still ongoing. Usage of CONSORT is recorded in 145 (31% literature units. Frequency of flow diagram was statistically much higher in studies which were in compliance with standards (86,2%, in comparison to those which did not use CONSORT guidelines (71,4%, as well as in completed studies (81,2% in comparison to pilot project studies (54,3%. Number of cluster randomized trials gathered through MEDLINE's search of key words 'cluster randomized trial [ti]' and 'cluster randomised trial [ti]', as well as the use of CONSORT in the reports of cluster randomized trials, are showing linear growth over time (p<0,001. Frequency of flow diagram is higher in the reports of cluster randomized trials that were done in accordance with the standards of reporting.

  17. Knowledge Translation Interventions to Improve the Timing of Dialysis Initiation: Protocol for a Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chau, Elaine M T; Manns, Braden J; Garg, Amit X; Sood, Manish M; Kim, S Joseph; Naimark, David; Nesrallah, Gihad E; Soroka, Steven D; Beaulieu, Monica; Dixon, Stephanie; Alam, Ahsan; Tangri, Navdeep

    2016-01-01

    Early initiation of chronic dialysis (starting dialysis with higher vs lower kidney function) has risen rapidly in the past 2 decades in Canada and internationally, despite absence of established health benefits and higher costs. In 2014, a Canadian guideline on the timing of dialysis initiation, recommending an intent-to-defer approach, was published. The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a knowledge translation intervention to promote the intent-to-defer approach in clinical practice. This study is a multicenter, 2-arm parallel, cluster randomized trial. The study involves 55 advanced chronic kidney disease clinics across Canada. Patients older than 18 years who are managed by nephrologists for more than 3 months, and initiate dialysis in the follow-up period are included in the study. Outcomes will be measured at the patient-level and enumerated within a cluster. Data on characteristics of each dialysis start will be determined by linkages with the Canadian Organ Replacement Register. Primary outcomes include the proportion of patients who start dialysis early with an estimated glomerular filtration rate greater than 10.5 mL/min/1.73 m 2 and start dialysis in hospital as inpatients or in an emergency room setting. Secondary outcomes include the rate of change in early dialysis starts; rates of hospitalizations, deaths, and cost of predialysis care (wherever available); quarterly proportion of new starts; and acceptability of the knowledge translation materials. We randomized 55 multidisciplinary chronic disease clinics (clusters) in Canada to receive either an active knowledge translation intervention or no intervention for the uptake of the guideline on the timing of dialysis initiation. The active knowledge translation intervention consists of audit and feedback as well as patient- and provider-directed educational tools delivered at a comprehensive in-person medical detailing visit. Control clinics are only exposed to guideline

  18. Cluster Analysis of Clinical Data Identifies Fibromyalgia Subgroups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Docampo, Elisa; Collado, Antonio; Escaramís, Geòrgia; Carbonell, Jordi; Rivera, Javier; Vidal, Javier; Alegre, José

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Fibromyalgia (FM) is mainly characterized by widespread pain and multiple accompanying symptoms, which hinder FM assessment and management. In order to reduce FM heterogeneity we classified clinical data into simplified dimensions that were used to define FM subgroups. Material and Methods 48 variables were evaluated in 1,446 Spanish FM cases fulfilling 1990 ACR FM criteria. A partitioning analysis was performed to find groups of variables similar to each other. Similarities between variables were identified and the variables were grouped into dimensions. This was performed in a subset of 559 patients, and cross-validated in the remaining 887 patients. For each sample and dimension, a composite index was obtained based on the weights of the variables included in the dimension. Finally, a clustering procedure was applied to the indexes, resulting in FM subgroups. Results Variables clustered into three independent dimensions: “symptomatology”, “comorbidities” and “clinical scales”. Only the two first dimensions were considered for the construction of FM subgroups. Resulting scores classified FM samples into three subgroups: low symptomatology and comorbidities (Cluster 1), high symptomatology and comorbidities (Cluster 2), and high symptomatology but low comorbidities (Cluster 3), showing differences in measures of disease severity. Conclusions We have identified three subgroups of FM samples in a large cohort of FM by clustering clinical data. Our analysis stresses the importance of family and personal history of FM comorbidities. Also, the resulting patient clusters could indicate different forms of the disease, relevant to future research, and might have an impact on clinical assessment. PMID:24098674

  19. Ferromagnetic clusters induced by a nonmagnetic random disorder in diluted magnetic semiconductors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bui, Dinh-Hoi [Institute of Research and Development, Duy Tan University, K7/25 Quang Trung, Danang (Viet Nam); Physics Department, Hue University’s College of Education, 34 Le Loi, Hue (Viet Nam); Phan, Van-Nham, E-mail: phanvannham@dtu.edu.vn [Institute of Research and Development, Duy Tan University, K7/25 Quang Trung, Danang (Viet Nam)

    2016-12-15

    In this work, we analyze the nonmagnetic random disorder leading to a formation of ferromagnetic clusters in diluted magnetic semiconductors. The nonmagnetic random disorder arises from randomness in the host lattice. Including the disorder to the Kondo lattice model with random distribution of magnetic dopants, the ferromagnetic–paramagnetic transition in the system is investigated in the framework of dynamical mean-field theory. At a certain low temperature one finds a fraction of ferromagnetic sites transiting to the paramagnetic state. Enlarging the nonmagnetic random disorder strength, the paramagnetic regimes expand resulting in the formation of the ferromagnetic clusters.

  20. Use of a fermented dairy probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus casei (DN-114 001) to decrease the rate of illness in kids: the DRINK study. A patient-oriented, double-blind, cluster-randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merenstein, D; Murphy, M; Fokar, A; Hernandez, R K; Park, H; Nsouli, H; Sanders, M E; Davis, B A; Niborski, V; Tondu, F; Shara, N M

    2010-07-01

    To evaluate whether a fermented dairy drink containing the probiotic strain Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001 could reduce the incidence of common infectious diseases (CIDs) and the change of behavior because of illness in children. We conducted a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled allocation concealment clinical trial in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Participants were 638 children 3-6 years old in daycare/schools. The intervention was a fermented dairy drink containing a specific probiotic strain or matching placebo with no live cultures for 90 consecutive days. Two primary outcomes were assessed: incidence of CIDs and change of behavior because of illness (both assessed by parental report). The rate of change of behavior because of illness was similar among active and control groups. However, the incidence rate for CIDs in the active group (0.0782) is 19% lower than that of the control group (0.0986) (incidence rate ratio=0.81, 95% CI: 0.65, 099) P=0.046. Daily intake of a fermented dairy drink containing the probiotic strain L. casei DN-114 001 showed some promise in reducing overall incidence of illness, but was primarily driven by gastrointestinal infections and there were no differences in change of behavior.

  1. Evaluation of stability of k-means cluster ensembles with respect to random initialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuncheva, Ludmila I; Vetrov, Dmitry P

    2006-11-01

    Many clustering algorithms, including cluster ensembles, rely on a random component. Stability of the results across different runs is considered to be an asset of the algorithm. The cluster ensembles considered here are based on k-means clusterers. Each clusterer is assigned a random target number of clusters, k and is started from a random initialization. Here, we use 10 artificial and 10 real data sets to study ensemble stability with respect to random k, and random initialization. The data sets were chosen to have a small number of clusters (two to seven) and a moderate number of data points (up to a few hundred). Pairwise stability is defined as the adjusted Rand index between pairs of clusterers in the ensemble, averaged across all pairs. Nonpairwise stability is defined as the entropy of the consensus matrix of the ensemble. An experimental comparison with the stability of the standard k-means algorithm was carried out for k from 2 to 20. The results revealed that ensembles are generally more stable, markedly so for larger k. To establish whether stability can serve as a cluster validity index, we first looked at the relationship between stability and accuracy with respect to the number of clusters, k. We found that such a relationship strongly depends on the data set, varying from almost perfect positive correlation (0.97, for the glass data) to almost perfect negative correlation (-0.93, for the crabs data). We propose a new combined stability index to be the sum of the pairwise individual and ensemble stabilities. This index was found to correlate better with the ensemble accuracy. Following the hypothesis that a point of stability of a clustering algorithm corresponds to a structure found in the data, we used the stability measures to pick the number of clusters. The combined stability index gave best results.

  2. Improved guideline adherence to pharmacotherapy of chronic systolic heart failure in general practice--results from a cluster-randomized controlled trial of implementation of a clinical practice guideline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters-Klimm, Frank; Müller-Tasch, Thomas; Remppis, Andrew; Szecsenyi, Joachim; Schellberg, Dieter

    2008-10-01

    Clinical practice guidelines (CPG) reflect the evidence of effective pharmacotherapy of chronic (systolic) heart failure (CHF) which needs to be implemented. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of a new, multifaceted intervention (educational train-the-trainer course plus pharmacotherapy feedback = TTT) compared with standard education on guideline adherence (GA) in general practice. Thirty-seven participating general practitioners (GPs) were randomized (18 vs. 19) and included 168 patients with ascertained symptomatic CHF [New York Heart Association (NYHA) II-IV]. Groups received CPG, the TTT intervention consisted of four interactive educational meetings and a pharmacotherapy feedback, while the control group received a usual lecture (Standard). Outcome measure was GA assessed by prescription rates and target dosing of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (ACE-I) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB), beta-blockers (BB) and aldosterone antagonists (AA) at baseline and 7-month follow-up. Group comparisons at follow-up were adjusted to GA, sex, age and NYHA stage at baseline. Prescription rates at baseline (n = 168) were high (ACE-I/ARB 90, BB 79 and AA 29%) in both groups. At follow up (n = 146), TTT improved compared with Standard regarding AA (43% vs. 23%, P = 0.04) and the rates of reached target doses of ACE-I/ARB (28% vs. 15%, P = 0.04). TTT group achieved significantly higher mean percentages of daily target dose (52% vs. 42%, mean difference 10.3%, 95% CI 0.84-19.8, P = 0.03). Despite of pre-existing high GA in both groups and an active control group, the multifaceted intervention was effective in quality of care measured by GA. Further research is needed on the choice of interventions in different provider populations.

  3. Effect of an educational toolkit on quality of care: a pragmatic cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Baiju R; Bhattacharyya, Onil; Yu, Catherine H Y; Mamdani, Muhammad M; Parsons, Janet A; Straus, Sharon E; Zwarenstein, Merrick

    2014-02-01

    Printed educational materials for clinician education are one of the most commonly used approaches for quality improvement. The objective of this pragmatic cluster randomized trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational toolkit focusing on cardiovascular disease screening and risk reduction in people with diabetes. All 933,789 people aged ≥40 years with diagnosed diabetes in Ontario, Canada were studied using population-level administrative databases, with additional clinical outcome data collected from a random sample of 1,592 high risk patients. Family practices were randomly assigned to receive the educational toolkit in June 2009 (intervention group) or May 2010 (control group). The primary outcome in the administrative data study, death or non-fatal myocardial infarction, occurred in 11,736 (2.5%) patients in the intervention group and 11,536 (2.5%) in the control group (p = 0.77). The primary outcome in the clinical data study, use of a statin, occurred in 700 (88.1%) patients in the intervention group and 725 (90.1%) in the control group (p = 0.26). Pre-specified secondary outcomes, including other clinical events, processes of care, and measures of risk factor control, were also not improved by the intervention. A limitation is the high baseline rate of statin prescribing in this population. The educational toolkit did not improve quality of care or cardiovascular outcomes in a population with diabetes. Despite being relatively easy and inexpensive to implement, printed educational materials were not effective. The study highlights the need for a rigorous and scientifically based approach to the development, dissemination, and evaluation of quality improvement interventions. http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01411865 and NCT01026688.

  4. Cluster-randomized Studies in Educational Research: Principles and Methodological Aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreyhaupt, Jens; Mayer, Benjamin; Keis, Oliver; Öchsner, Wolfgang; Muche, Rainer

    2017-01-01

    An increasing number of studies are being performed in educational research to evaluate new teaching methods and approaches. These studies could be performed more efficiently and deliver more convincing results if they more strictly applied and complied with recognized standards of scientific studies. Such an approach could substantially increase the quality in particular of prospective, two-arm (intervention) studies that aim to compare two different teaching methods. A key standard in such studies is randomization, which can minimize systematic bias in study findings; such bias may result if the two study arms are not structurally equivalent. If possible, educational research studies should also achieve this standard, although this is not yet generally the case. Some difficulties and concerns exist, particularly regarding organizational and methodological aspects. An important point to consider in educational research studies is that usually individuals cannot be randomized, because of the teaching situation, and instead whole groups have to be randomized (so-called "cluster randomization"). Compared with studies with individual randomization, studies with cluster randomization normally require (significantly) larger sample sizes and more complex methods for calculating sample size. Furthermore, cluster-randomized studies require more complex methods for statistical analysis. The consequence of the above is that a competent expert with respective special knowledge needs to be involved in all phases of cluster-randomized studies. Studies to evaluate new teaching methods need to make greater use of randomization in order to achieve scientifically convincing results. Therefore, in this article we describe the general principles of cluster randomization and how to implement these principles, and we also outline practical aspects of using cluster randomization in prospective, two-arm comparative educational research studies.

  5. A Coupled Hidden Markov Random Field Model for Simultaneous Face Clustering and Tracking in Videos

    KAUST Repository

    Wu, Baoyuan

    2016-10-25

    Face clustering and face tracking are two areas of active research in automatic facial video processing. They, however, have long been studied separately, despite the inherent link between them. In this paper, we propose to perform simultaneous face clustering and face tracking from real world videos. The motivation for the proposed research is that face clustering and face tracking can provide useful information and constraints to each other, thus can bootstrap and improve the performances of each other. To this end, we introduce a Coupled Hidden Markov Random Field (CHMRF) to simultaneously model face clustering, face tracking, and their interactions. We provide an effective algorithm based on constrained clustering and optimal tracking for the joint optimization of cluster labels and face tracking. We demonstrate significant improvements over state-of-the-art results in face clustering and tracking on several videos.

  6. Celiac Patients: A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Mazzarella

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A lifelong gluten-free diet (GFD is mandatory for celiac disease (CD but has poor compliance, justifying novel strategies. We found that wheat flour transamidation inhibited IFN-γ secretion by intestinal T cells from CD patients. Herein, the primary endpoint was to evaluate the ability of transamidated gluten to maintain GFD CD patients in clinical remission. Secondary endpoints were efficacy in prevention of the inflammatory response and safety at the kidney level, where reaction products are metabolized. In a randomized single blinded, controlled 90-day trial, 47 GFD CD patients received 3.7 g/day of gluten from nontransamidated (12 or transamidated (35 flour. On day 15, 75% and 37% of patients in the control and experimental groups, respectively, showed clinical relapse (=0.04 whereas intestinal permeability was mainly altered in the control group (50% versus 20%, =0.06. On day 90, 0 controls and 14 patients in the experimental group completed the challenge with no variation of antitransglutaminase IgA (=0.63, Marsh-Oberhuber grading (=0.08, or intestinal IFN-γ mRNA (>0.05. Creatinine clearance did not vary after 90 days of treatment (=0.46. In conclusion, transamidated gluten reduced the number of clinical relapses in challenged patients with no changes of baseline values for serological/mucosal CD markers and an unaltered kidney function.

  7. Cluster-randomized Studies in Educational Research: Principles and Methodological Aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dreyhaupt, Jens

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available An increasing number of studies are being performed in educational research to evaluate new teaching methods and approaches. These studies could be performed more efficiently and deliver more convincing results if they more strictly applied and complied with recognized standards of scientific studies. Such an approach could substantially increase the quality in particular of prospective, two-arm (intervention studies that aim to compare two different teaching methods. A key standard in such studies is randomization, which can minimize systematic bias in study findings; such bias may result if the two study arms are not structurally equivalent. If possible, educational research studies should also achieve this standard, although this is not yet generally the case. Some difficulties and concerns exist, particularly regarding organizational and methodological aspects. An important point to consider in educational research studies is that usually individuals cannot be randomized, because of the teaching situation, and instead whole groups have to be randomized (so-called “cluster randomization”. Compared with studies with individual randomization, studies with cluster randomization normally require (significantly larger sample sizes and more complex methods for calculating sample size. Furthermore, cluster-randomized studies require more complex methods for statistical analysis. The consequence of the above is that a competent expert with respective special knowledge needs to be involved in all phases of cluster-randomized studies.Studies to evaluate new teaching methods need to make greater use of randomization in order to achieve scientifically convincing results. Therefore, in this article we describe the general principles of cluster randomization and how to implement these principles, and we also outline practical aspects of using cluster randomization in prospective, two-arm comparative educational research studies.

  8. Efficacy of a workplace osteoporosis prevention intervention: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ai May; LaMontagne, Anthony D; English, Dallas R; Howard, Peter

    2016-08-24

    Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease. Adequate calcium consumption and physical activity are the two major modifiable risk factors. This paper describes the major outcomes and efficacy of a workplace-based targeted behaviour change intervention to improve the dietary and physical activity behaviours of working women in sedentary occupations in Singapore. A cluster-randomized design was used, comparing the efficacy of a tailored intervention to standard care. Workplaces were the units of randomization and intervention. Sixteen workplaces were recruited from a pool of 97, and randomly assigned to intervention and control arms (eight workplaces in each). Women meeting specified inclusion criteria were then recruited to participate. Workplaces in the intervention arm received three participatory workshops and organization-wide educational activities. Workplaces in the control/standard care arm received print resources. Outcome measures were calcium intake (milligrams/day) and physical activity level (duration: minutes/week), measured at baseline, 4 weeks and 6 months post intervention. Adjusted cluster-level analyses were conducted comparing changes in intervention versus control groups, following intention-to-treat principles and CONSORT guidelines. Workplaces in the intervention group reported a significantly greater increase in calcium intake and duration of load-bearing moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) compared with the standard care control group. Four weeks after intervention, the difference in adjusted mean calcium intake was 343.2 mg/day (95 % CI = 337.4 to 349.0, p workplace-based intervention substantially improved calcium intake and load-bearing moderate to vigorous physical activity 6 months after the intervention began. Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN12616000079448 . Registered 25 January 2016 (retrospectively registered).

  9. Structuring communication relationships for interprofessional teamwork (SCRIPT: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenaszchuk Chris

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite a burgeoning interest in using interprofessional approaches to promote effective collaboration in health care, systematic reviews find scant evidence of benefit. This protocol describes the first cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT to design and evaluate an intervention intended to improve interprofessional collaborative communication and patient-centred care. Objectives The objective is to evaluate the effects of a four-component, hospital-based staff communication protocol designed to promote collaborative communication between healthcare professionals and enhance patient-centred care. Methods The study is a multi-centre mixed-methods cluster randomized controlled trial involving twenty clinical teaching teams (CTTs in general internal medicine (GIM divisions of five Toronto tertiary-care hospitals. CTTs will be randomly assigned either to receive an intervention designed to improve interprofessional collaborative communication, or to continue usual communication practices. Non-participant naturalistic observation, shadowing, and semi-structured, qualitative interviews were conducted to explore existing patterns of interprofessional collaboration in the CTTs, and to support intervention development. Interviews and shadowing will continue during intervention delivery in order to document interactions between the intervention settings and adopters, and changes in interprofessional communication. The primary outcome is the rate of unplanned hospital readmission. Secondary outcomes are length of stay (LOS; adherence to evidence-based prescription drug therapy; patients' satisfaction with care; self-report surveys of CTT staff perceptions of interprofessional collaboration; and frequency of calls to paging devices. Outcomes will be compared on an intention-to-treat basis using adjustment methods appropriate for data from a cluster randomized design. Discussion Pre-intervention qualitative analysis revealed that a

  10. Strategies to enhance venous thromboprophylaxis in hospitalized medical patients (SENTRY: a pilot cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pai Menaka

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Venous thromboembolism (VTE is a common preventable cause of mortality in hospitalized medical patients. Despite rigorous randomized trials generating strong recommendations for anticoagulant use to prevent VTE, nearly 40% of medical patients receive inappropriate thromboprophylaxis. Knowledge-translation strategies are needed to bridge this gap. Methods We conducted a 16-week pilot cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT to determine the proportion of medical patients that were appropriately managed for thromboprophylaxis (according to the American College of Chest Physician guidelines within 24 hours of admission, through the use of a multicomponent knowledge-translation intervention. Our primary goal was to determine the feasibility of conducting this study on a larger scale. The intervention comprised clinician education, a paper-based VTE risk assessment algorithm, printed physicians’ orders, and audit and feedback sessions. Medical wards at six hospitals (representing clusters in Ontario, Canada were included; three were randomized to the multicomponent intervention and three to usual care (i.e., no active strategies for thromboprophylaxis in place. Blinding was not used. Results A total of 2,611 patients (1,154 in the intervention and 1,457 in the control group were eligible and included in the analysis. This multicomponent intervention did not lead to a significant difference in appropriate VTE prophylaxis rates between intervention and control hospitals (appropriate management rate odds ratio = 0.80; 95% confidence interval: 0.50, 1.28; p = 0.36; intra-class correlation coefficient: 0.022, and thus was not considered feasible. Major barriers to effective knowledge translation were poor attendance by clinical staff at education and feedback sessions, difficulty locating preprinted orders, and lack of involvement by clinical and administrative leaders. We identified several factors that may increase uptake of a VTE

  11. E-learning or educational leaflet: does it make a difference in oral health promotion? A clustered randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Bardaweel, Susan; Dashash, Mayssoon

    2018-05-10

    The early recognition of technology together with great ability to use computers and smart systems have promoted researchers to investigate the possibilities of utilizing technology for improving health care in children. The aim of this study was to compare between the traditional educational leaflets and E-applications in improving oral health knowledge, oral hygiene and gingival health in schoolchildren of Damascus city, Syria. A clustered randomized controlled trial at two public primary schools was performed. About 220 schoolchildren aged 10-11 years were included in this study and grouped into two clusters. Children in Leaflet cluster received oral health education through leaflets, while children in E-learning cluster received oral health education through an E-learning program. A questionnaire was designed to register information related to oral health knowledge and to record Plaque and Gingival indices. Questionnaire administration and clinical assessment were undertaken at baseline, 6 and at 12 weeks of oral health education. Data was analysed using one way repeated measures ANOVA, post hoc Bonferroni test and independent samples t-test. Leaflet cluster (107 participants) had statistically significant better oral health knowledge than E-learning cluster (104 participants) at 6 weeks (P E-learning cluster:100 participants). The mean knowledge gain compared to baseline was higher in Leaflet cluster than in E-learning cluster. A significant reduction in the PI means at 6 weeks and 12 weeks was observed in both clusters (P E-learning cluster at 6 weeks (P E-learning cluster at 6 weeks (P < 0.05) and 12 weeks (P < 0.05). Traditional educational leaflets are an effective tool in the improvement of both oral health knowledge as well as clinical indices of oral hygiene and care among Syrian children. Leaflets can be used in school-based oral health education for a positive outcome. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( ACTRN

  12. Evaluation of cluster-randomized trials on maternal and child health research in developing countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Handlos, Line Neerup; Chakraborty, Hrishikesh; Sen, Pranab Kumar

    2009-01-01

    To summarize and evaluate all publications including cluster-randomized trials used for maternal and child health research in developing countries during the last 10 years. METHODS: All cluster-randomized trials published between 1998 and 2008 were reviewed, and those that met our criteria...... for inclusion were evaluated further. The criteria for inclusion were that the trial should have been conducted in maternal and child health care in a developing country and that the conclusions should have been made on an individual level. Methods of accounting for clustering in design and analysis were......, and the trials generally improved in quality. CONCLUSIONS: Shortcomings exist in the sample-size calculations and in the analysis of cluster-randomized trials conducted during maternal and child health research in developing countries. Even though there has been improvement over time, further progress in the way...

  13. Improving Language Comprehension in Preschool Children with Language Difficulties: A Cluster Randomized Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Åste M.; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Lervåg, Arne

    2017-01-01

    Background: Children with language comprehension difficulties are at risk of educational and social problems, which in turn impede employment prospects in adulthood. However, few randomized trials have examined how such problems can be ameliorated during the preschool years. Methods: We conducted a cluster randomized trial in 148 preschool…

  14. Associating clinical archetypes through UMLS Metathesaurus term clusters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lezcano, Leonardo; Sánchez-Alonso, Salvador; Sicilia, Miguel-Angel

    2012-06-01

    Clinical archetypes are modular definitions of clinical data, expressed using standard or open constraint-based data models as the CEN EN13606 and openEHR. There is an increasing archetype specification activity that raises the need for techniques to associate archetypes to support better management and user navigation in archetype repositories. This paper reports on a computational technique to generate tentative archetype associations by mapping them through term clusters obtained from the UMLS Metathesaurus. The terms are used to build a bipartite graph model and graph connectivity measures can be used for deriving associations.

  15. Relative efficiency of unequal versus equal cluster sizes in cluster randomized trials using generalized estimating equation models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jingxia; Colditz, Graham A

    2018-05-01

    There is growing interest in conducting cluster randomized trials (CRTs). For simplicity in sample size calculation, the cluster sizes are assumed to be identical across all clusters. However, equal cluster sizes are not guaranteed in practice. Therefore, the relative efficiency (RE) of unequal versus equal cluster sizes has been investigated when testing the treatment effect. One of the most important approaches to analyze a set of correlated data is the generalized estimating equation (GEE) proposed by Liang and Zeger, in which the "working correlation structure" is introduced and the association pattern depends on a vector of association parameters denoted by ρ. In this paper, we utilize GEE models to test the treatment effect in a two-group comparison for continuous, binary, or count data in CRTs. The variances of the estimator of the treatment effect are derived for the different types of outcome. RE is defined as the ratio of variance of the estimator of the treatment effect for equal to unequal cluster sizes. We discuss a commonly used structure in CRTs-exchangeable, and derive the simpler formula of RE with continuous, binary, and count outcomes. Finally, REs are investigated for several scenarios of cluster size distributions through simulation studies. We propose an adjusted sample size due to efficiency loss. Additionally, we also propose an optimal sample size estimation based on the GEE models under a fixed budget for known and unknown association parameter (ρ) in the working correlation structure within the cluster. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Clustering, randomness, and regularity in cloud fields. 4: Stratocumulus cloud fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J.; Chou, J.; Weger, R. C.; Welch, R. M.

    1994-01-01

    To complete the analysis of the spatial distribution of boundary layer cloudiness, the present study focuses on nine stratocumulus Landsat scenes. The results indicate many similarities between stratocumulus and cumulus spatial distributions. Most notably, at full spatial resolution all scenes exhibit a decidedly clustered distribution. The strength of the clustering signal decreases with increasing cloud size; the clusters themselves consist of a few clouds (less than 10), occupy a small percentage of the cloud field area (less than 5%), contain between 20% and 60% of the cloud field population, and are randomly located within the scene. In contrast, stratocumulus in almost every respect are more strongly clustered than are cumulus cloud fields. For instance, stratocumulus clusters contain more clouds per cluster, occupy a larger percentage of the total area, and have a larger percentage of clouds participating in clusters than the corresponding cumulus examples. To investigate clustering at intermediate spatial scales, the local dimensionality statistic is introduced. Results obtained from this statistic provide the first direct evidence for regularity among large (more than 900 m in diameter) clouds in stratocumulus and cumulus cloud fields, in support of the inhibition hypothesis of Ramirez and Bras (1990). Also, the size compensated point-to-cloud cumulative distribution function statistic is found to be necessary to obtain a consistent description of stratocumulus cloud distributions. A hypothesis regarding the underlying physical mechanisms responsible for cloud clustering is presented. It is suggested that cloud clusters often arise from 4 to 10 triggering events localized within regions less than 2 km in diameter and randomly distributed within the cloud field. As the size of the cloud surpasses the scale of the triggering region, the clustering signal weakens and the larger cloud locations become more random.

  17. Clustering, randomness, and regularity in cloud fields. 4. Stratocumulus cloud fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J.; Chou, J.; Weger, R. C.; Welch, R. M.

    1994-07-01

    To complete the analysis of the spatial distribution of boundary layer cloudiness, the present study focuses on nine stratocumulus Landsat scenes. The results indicate many similarities between stratocumulus and cumulus spatial distributions. Most notably, at full spatial resolution all scenes exhibit a decidedly clustered distribution. The strength of the clustering signal decreases with increasing cloud size; the clusters themselves consist of a few clouds (less than 10), occupy a small percentage of the cloud field area (less than 5%), contain between 20% and 60% of the cloud field population, and are randomly located within the scene. In contrast, stratocumulus in almost every respect are more strongly clustered than are cumulus cloud fields. For instance, stratocumulus clusters contain more clouds per cluster, occupy a larger percentage of the total area, and have a larger percentage of clouds participating in clusters than the corresponding cumulus examples. To investigate clustering at intermediate spatial scales, the local dimensionality statistic is introduced. Results obtained from this statistic provide the first direct evidence for regularity among large (>900 m in diameter) clouds in stratocumulus and cumulus cloud fields, in support of the inhibition hypothesis of Ramirez and Bras (1990). Also, the size compensated point-to-cloud cumulative distribution function statistic is found to be necessary to obtain a consistent description of stratocumulus cloud distributions. A hypothesis regarding the underlying physical mechanisms responsible for cloud clustering is presented. It is suggested that cloud clusters often arise from 4 to 10 triggering events localized within regions less than 2 km in diameter and randomly distributed within the cloud field. As the size of the cloud surpasses the scale of the triggering region, the clustering signal weakens and the larger cloud locations become more random.

  18. Mobile phone intervention reduces perinatal mortality in zanzibar: secondary outcomes of a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, Stine; Rasch, Vibeke; Hemed, Maryam; Boas, Ida Marie; Said, Azzah; Said, Khadija; Makundu, Mkoko Hassan; Nielsen, Birgitte Bruun

    2014-03-26

    Mobile phones are increasingly used in health systems in developing countries and innovative technical solutions have great potential to overcome barriers of access to reproductive and child health care. However, despite widespread support for the use of mobile health technologies, evidence for its role in health care is sparse. We aimed to evaluate the association between a mobile phone intervention and perinatal mortality in a resource-limited setting. This study was a pragmatic, cluster-randomized, controlled trial with primary health care facilities in Zanzibar as the unit of randomization. At their first antenatal care visit, 2550 pregnant women (1311 interventions and 1239 controls) who attended antenatal care at selected primary health care facilities were included in this study and followed until 42 days after delivery. Twenty-four primary health care facilities in six districts were randomized to either mobile phone intervention or standard care. The intervention consisted of a mobile phone text message and voucher component. Secondary outcome measures included stillbirth, perinatal mortality, and death of a child within 42 days after birth as a proxy of neonatal mortality. Within the first 42 days of life, 2482 children were born alive, 54 were stillborn, and 36 died. The overall perinatal mortality rate in the study was 27 per 1000 total births. The rate was lower in the intervention clusters, 19 per 1000 births, than in the control clusters, 36 per 1000 births. The intervention was associated with a significant reduction in perinatal mortality with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.50 (95% CI 0.27-0.93). Other secondary outcomes showed an insignificant reduction in stillbirth (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.34-1.24) and an insignificant reduction in death within the first 42 days of life (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.36-1.74). Mobile phone applications may contribute to improved health of the newborn and should be considered by policy makers in resource-limited settings. Clinical

  19. Structured patient handoff on an internal medicine ward: A cluster randomized control trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Penny; Nijjar, Aman P; Fok, Mark; Little, Chris; Shingina, Alexandra; Bittman, Jesse; Raghavan, Rashmi; Khan, Nadia A

    2018-01-01

    The effect of a multi-faceted handoff strategy in a high volume internal medicine inpatient setting on process and patient outcomes has not been clearly established. We set out to determine if a multi-faceted handoff intervention consisting of education, standardized handoff procedures, including fixed time and location for face-to-face handoff would result in improved rates of handoff compared with usual practice. We also evaluated resident satisfaction, health resource utilization and clinical outcomes. This was a cluster randomized controlled trial in a large academic tertiary care center with 18 inpatient internal medicine ward teams from January-April 2013. We randomized nine inpatient teams to an intervention where they received an education session standardizing who and how to handoff patients, with practice and feedback from facilitators. The control group of 9 teams continued usual non-standardized handoffs. The primary process outcome was the rate of patients handed over per 1000 patient nights. Other process outcomes included perceptions of inadequate handoff by overnight physicians, resource utilization overnight and hospital length of stay. Clinical outcomes included medical errors, frequency of patients requiring higher level of care overnight, and in-hospital mortality. The intervention group demonstrated a significant increase in the rate of patients handed over to the overnight physician (62.90/1000 person-nights vs. 46.86/1000 person-nights, p = 0.002). There was no significant difference in other process outcomes except resource utilization was increased in the intervention group (26.35/1000 person-days vs. 17.57/1000 person-days, p-value = 0.01). There was no significant difference between groups in medical errors (4.8% vs. 4.1%), need for higher level of care or in hospital mortality. Limitations include a dependence of accurate record keeping by the overnight physician, the possibility of cross-contamination in the handoff process, analysis at

  20. Assessment of Random Assignment in Training and Test Sets using Generalized Cluster Analysis Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorana D. BOLBOACĂ

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The properness of random assignment of compounds in training and validation sets was assessed using the generalized cluster technique. Material and Method: A quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship model using Molecular Descriptors Family on Vertices was evaluated in terms of assignment of carboquinone derivatives in training and test sets during the leave-many-out analysis. Assignment of compounds was investigated using five variables: observed anticancer activity and four structure descriptors. Generalized cluster analysis with K-means algorithm was applied in order to investigate if the assignment of compounds was or not proper. The Euclidian distance and maximization of the initial distance using a cross-validation with a v-fold of 10 was applied. Results: All five variables included in analysis proved to have statistically significant contribution in identification of clusters. Three clusters were identified, each of them containing both carboquinone derivatives belonging to training as well as to test sets. The observed activity of carboquinone derivatives proved to be normal distributed on every. The presence of training and test sets in all clusters identified using generalized cluster analysis with K-means algorithm and the distribution of observed activity within clusters sustain a proper assignment of compounds in training and test set. Conclusion: Generalized cluster analysis using the K-means algorithm proved to be a valid method in assessment of random assignment of carboquinone derivatives in training and test sets.

  1. The effect of a clinical decision-making mHealth support system on maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity in Ghana : study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amoakoh, Hannah Brown; Klipstein-Grobusch, Kerstin; Amoakoh-Coleman, Mary; Agyepong, Irene Akua; Kayode, Gbenga A; Sarpong, Charity; Grobbee, Diederick E; Ansah, Evelyn K

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Mobile health (mHealth) presents one of the potential solutions to maximize health worker impact and efficiency in an effort to reach the Sustainable Development Goals 3.1 and 3.2, particularly in sub-Saharan African countries. Poor-quality clinical decision-making is known to be

  2. Comparing cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens using sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trials: Regression estimation and sample size considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    NeCamp, Timothy; Kilbourne, Amy; Almirall, Daniel

    2017-08-01

    Cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens can be used to guide sequential treatment decision-making at the cluster level in order to improve outcomes at the individual or patient-level. In a cluster-level dynamic treatment regimen, the treatment is potentially adapted and re-adapted over time based on changes in the cluster that could be impacted by prior intervention, including aggregate measures of the individuals or patients that compose it. Cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trials can be used to answer multiple open questions preventing scientists from developing high-quality cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens. In a cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trial, sequential randomizations occur at the cluster level and outcomes are observed at the individual level. This manuscript makes two contributions to the design and analysis of cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trials. First, a weighted least squares regression approach is proposed for comparing the mean of a patient-level outcome between the cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens embedded in a sequential multiple assignment randomized trial. The regression approach facilitates the use of baseline covariates which is often critical in the analysis of cluster-level trials. Second, sample size calculators are derived for two common cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trial designs for use when the primary aim is a between-dynamic treatment regimen comparison of the mean of a continuous patient-level outcome. The methods are motivated by the Adaptive Implementation of Effective Programs Trial which is, to our knowledge, the first-ever cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trial in psychiatry.

  3. A cluster analysis of tic symptoms in children and adults with Tourette syndrome: clinical correlates and treatment outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Joseph F; Nyirabahizi, Epiphanie; Kircanski, Katharina; Piacentini, John; Peterson, Alan L; Woods, Douglas W; Wilhelm, Sabine; Walkup, John T; Scahill, Lawrence

    2013-12-30

    Cluster analytic methods have examined the symptom presentation of chronic tic disorders (CTDs), with limited agreement across studies. The present study investigated patterns, clinical correlates, and treatment outcome of tic symptoms. 239 youth and adults with CTDs completed a battery of assessments at baseline to determine diagnoses, tic severity, and clinical characteristics. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics (CBIT) or psychoeducation and supportive therapy (PST). A cluster analysis was conducted on the baseline Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) symptom checklist to identify the constellations of tic symptoms. Four tic clusters were identified: Impulse Control and Complex Phonic Tics; Complex Motor Tics; Simple Head Motor/Vocal Tics; and Primarily Simple Motor Tics. Frequencies of tic symptoms showed few differences across youth and adults. Tic clusters had small associations with clinical characteristics and showed no associations to the presence of coexisting psychiatric conditions. Cluster membership scores did not predict treatment response to CBIT or tic severity reductions. Tic symptoms distinctly cluster with little difference across youth and adults, or coexisting conditions. This study, which is the first to examine tic clusters and response to treatment, suggested that tic symptom profiles respond equally well to CBIT. Clinical trials.gov. identifiers: NCT00218777; NCT00231985. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Electronic laboratory system reduces errors in National Tuberculosis Program: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaya, J A; Shin, S S; Yale, G; Suarez, C; Asencios, L; Contreras, C; Rodriguez, P; Kim, J; Cegielski, P; Fraser, H S F

    2010-08-01

    To evaluate the impact of the e-Chasqui laboratory information system in reducing reporting errors compared to the current paper system. Cluster randomized controlled trial in 76 health centers (HCs) between 2004 and 2008. Baseline data were collected every 4 months for 12 months. HCs were then randomly assigned to intervention (e-Chasqui) or control (paper). Further data were collected for the same months the following year. Comparisons were made between intervention and control HCs, and before and after the intervention. Intervention HCs had respectively 82% and 87% fewer errors in reporting results for drug susceptibility tests (2.1% vs. 11.9%, P = 0.001, OR 0.17, 95%CI 0.09-0.31) and cultures (2.0% vs. 15.1%, P Chasqui users sent on average three electronic error reports per week to the laboratories. e-Chasqui reduced the number of missing laboratory results at point-of-care health centers. Clinical users confirmed viewing electronic results not available on paper. Reporting errors to the laboratory using e-Chasqui promoted continuous quality improvement. The e-Chasqui laboratory information system is an important part of laboratory infrastructure improvements to support multidrug-resistant tuberculosis care in Peru.

  5. Quenched Large Deviations for Simple Random Walks on Percolation Clusters Including Long-Range Correlations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Noam; Mukherjee, Chiranjib; Okamura, Kazuki

    2018-03-01

    We prove a quenched large deviation principle (LDP) for a simple random walk on a supercritical percolation cluster (SRWPC) on {Z^d} ({d ≥ 2}). The models under interest include classical Bernoulli bond and site percolation as well as models that exhibit long range correlations, like the random cluster model, the random interlacement and the vacant set of random interlacements (for {d ≥ 3}) and the level sets of the Gaussian free field ({d≥ 3}). Inspired by the methods developed by Kosygina et al. (Commun Pure Appl Math 59:1489-1521, 2006) for proving quenched LDP for elliptic diffusions with a random drift, and by Yilmaz (Commun Pure Appl Math 62(8):1033-1075, 2009) and Rosenbluth (Quenched large deviations for multidimensional random walks in a random environment: a variational formula. Ph.D. thesis, NYU, arXiv:0804.1444v1) for similar results regarding elliptic random walks in random environment, we take the point of view of the moving particle and prove a large deviation principle for the quenched distribution of the pair empirical measures of the environment Markov chain in the non-elliptic case of SRWPC. Via a contraction principle, this reduces easily to a quenched LDP for the distribution of the mean velocity of the random walk and both rate functions admit explicit variational formulas. The main difficulty in our set up lies in the inherent non-ellipticity as well as the lack of translation-invariance stemming from conditioning on the fact that the origin belongs to the infinite cluster. We develop a unifying approach for proving quenched large deviations for SRWPC based on exploiting coercivity properties of the relative entropies in the context of convex variational analysis, combined with input from ergodic theory and invoking geometric properties of the supercritical percolation cluster.

  6. A semi-supervised method to detect seismic random noise with fuzzy GK clustering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hashemi, Hosein; Javaherian, Abdolrahim; Babuska, Robert

    2008-01-01

    We present a new method to detect random noise in seismic data using fuzzy Gustafson–Kessel (GK) clustering. First, using an adaptive distance norm, a matrix is constructed from the observed seismic amplitudes. The next step is to find centres of ellipsoidal clusters and construct a partition matrix which determines the soft decision boundaries between seismic events and random noise. The GK algorithm updates the cluster centres in order to iteratively minimize the cluster variance. Multiplication of the fuzzy membership function with values of each sample yields new sections; we name them 'clustered sections'. The seismic amplitude values of the clustered sections are given in a way to decrease the level of noise in the original noisy seismic input. In pre-stack data, it is essential to study the clustered sections in a f–k domain; finding the quantitative index for weighting the post-stack data needs a similar approach. Using the knowledge of a human specialist together with the fuzzy unsupervised clustering, the method is a semi-supervised random noise detection. The efficiency of this method is investigated on synthetic and real seismic data for both pre- and post-stack data. The results show a significant improvement of the input noisy sections without harming the important amplitude and phase information of the original data. The procedure for finding the final weights of each clustered section should be carefully done in order to keep almost all the evident seismic amplitudes in the output section. The method interactively uses the knowledge of the seismic specialist in detecting the noise

  7. Handling missing data in cluster randomized trials: A demonstration of multiple imputation with PAN through SAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiangxiu Zhou

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to demonstrate a way of dealing with missing data in clustered randomized trials by doing multiple imputation (MI with the PAN package in R through SAS. The procedure for doing MI with PAN through SAS is demonstrated in detail in order for researchers to be able to use this procedure with their own data. An illustration of the technique with empirical data was also included. In this illustration thePAN results were compared with pairwise deletion and three types of MI: (1 Normal Model (NM-MI ignoring the cluster structure; (2 NM-MI with dummy-coded cluster variables (fixed cluster structure; and (3 a hybrid NM-MI which imputes half the time ignoring the cluster structure, and the other half including the dummy-coded cluster variables. The empirical analysis showed that using PAN and the other strategies produced comparable parameter estimates. However, the dummy-coded MI overestimated the intraclass correlation, whereas MI ignoring the cluster structure and the hybrid MI underestimated the intraclass correlation. When compared with PAN, the p-value and standard error for the treatment effect were higher with dummy-coded MI, and lower with MI ignoring the clusterstructure, the hybrid MI approach, and pairwise deletion. Previous studies have shown that NM-MI is not appropriate for handling missing data in clustered randomized trials. This approach, in addition to the pairwise deletion approach, leads to a biased intraclass correlation and faultystatistical conclusions. Imputation in clustered randomized trials should be performed with PAN. We have demonstrated an easy way for using PAN through SAS.

  8. Clustering Single-Cell Expression Data Using Random Forest Graphs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pouyan, Maziyar Baran; Nourani, Mehrdad

    2017-07-01

    Complex tissues such as brain and bone marrow are made up of multiple cell types. As the study of biological tissue structure progresses, the role of cell-type-specific research becomes increasingly important. Novel sequencing technology such as single-cell cytometry provides researchers access to valuable biological data. Applying machine-learning techniques to these high-throughput datasets provides deep insights into the cellular landscape of the tissue where those cells are a part of. In this paper, we propose the use of random-forest-based single-cell profiling, a new machine-learning-based technique, to profile different cell types of intricate tissues using single-cell cytometry data. Our technique utilizes random forests to capture cell marker dependences and model the cellular populations using the cell network concept. This cellular network helps us discover what cell types are in the tissue. Our experimental results on public-domain datasets indicate promising performance and accuracy of our technique in extracting cell populations of complex tissues.

  9. Dynamics of malaria transmission and susceptibility to clinical malaria episodes following treatment of Plasmodium falciparum asymptomatic carriers: results of a cluster-randomized study of community-wide screening and treatment, and a parallel entomology study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiono, Alfred B; Guelbeogo, Moussa W; Sagnon, N Falé; Nébié, Issa; Sirima, Sodiomon B; Mukhopadhyay, Amitava; Hamed, Kamal

    2013-11-12

    In malaria-endemic countries, large proportions of individuals infected with Plasmodium falciparum are asymptomatic and constitute a reservoir of parasites for infection of newly hatched mosquitoes. Two studies were run in parallel in Burkina Faso to evaluate the impact of systematic identification and treatment of asymptomatic carriers of P. falciparum, detected by rapid diagnostic test, on disease transmission and susceptibility to clinical malaria episodes. A clinical study assessed the incidence of symptomatic malaria episodes with a parasite density >5,000/μL after three screening and treatment campaigns ~1 month apart before the rainy season; and an entomological study determined the effect of these campaigns on malaria transmission as measured by entomological inoculation rate. The intervention arm had lower prevalence of asymptomatic carriers of asexual parasites and lower prevalence of gametocyte carriers during campaigns 2 and 3 as compared to the control arm. During the entire follow-up period, out of 13,767 at-risk subjects, 2,516 subjects (intervention arm 1,332; control arm 1,184) had symptomatic malaria. Kaplan-Meier analysis of the incidence of first symptomatic malaria episode with a parasite density >5,000/μL showed that, in the total population, the two treatment arms were similar until Week 11-12 after campaign 3, corresponding with the beginning of the malaria transmission season, after which the probability of being free of symptomatic malaria was lower in the intervention arm (logrank p entomological inoculation rate was comparable in both arms, with September peaks in both indices. Community screening and targeted treatment of asymptomatic carriers of P. falciparum had no effect on the dynamics of malaria transmission, but seemed to be associated with an increase in the treated community's susceptibility to symptomatic malaria episodes after the screening campaigns had finished. These results highlight the importance of further

  10. A Cluster Analysis of Tic Symptoms in Children and Adults with Tourette Syndrome: Clinical Correlates and Treatment Outcome

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Joseph F.; Nyirabahizi, Epiphanie; Kircanski, Katharina; Piacentini, John; Peterson, Alan L.; Woods, Douglas W.; Wilhelm, Sabine; Walkup, John T.; Scahill, Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    Cluster analytic methods have examined the symptom presentation of chronic tic disorders (CTDs), with limited agreement across studies. The present study investigated patterns, clinical correlates, and treatment outcome of tic symptoms. 239 youth and adults with CTDs completed a battery of assessments at baseline to determine diagnoses, tic severity, and clinical characteristics. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics (CBIT) or psychoeducation and supportive therapy (PST). A cluster analysis was conducted on the baseline Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) symptom checklist to identify the constellations of tic symptoms. Four tic clusters were identified: Impulse Control and Complex Phonic Tics; Complex Motor Tics; Simple Head Motor/Vocal Tics; and Primarily Simple Motor Tics. Frequencies of tic symptoms showed few differences across youth and adults. Tic clusters had small associations with clinical characteristics and showed no associations to the presence of coexisting psychiatric conditions. Cluster membership scores did not predict treatment response to CBIT or tic severity reductions. Tic symptoms distinctly cluster with few difference across youth and adults, or coexisting conditions. This study, which is the first to examine tic clusters in relation to treatment, suggested that tic symptom profiles respond equally well to CBIT. PMID:24144615

  11. Involving patients in setting priorities for healthcare improvement: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boivin, Antoine; Lehoux, Pascale; Lacombe, Réal; Burgers, Jako; Grol, Richard

    2014-02-20

    Patients are increasingly seen as active partners in healthcare. While patient involvement in individual clinical decisions has been extensively studied, no trial has assessed how patients can effectively be involved in collective healthcare decisions affecting the population. The goal of this study was to test the impact of involving patients in setting healthcare improvement priorities for chronic care at the community level. Cluster randomized controlled trial. Local communities were randomized in intervention (priority setting with patient involvement) and control sites (no patient involvement). Communities in a canadian region were required to set priorities for improving chronic disease management in primary care, from a list of 37 validated quality indicators. Patients were consulted in writing, before participating in face-to-face deliberation with professionals. Professionals established priorities among themselves, without patient involvement. A total of 172 individuals from six communities participated in the study, including 83 chronic disease patients, and 89 health professionals. The primary outcome was the level of agreement between patients' and professionals' priorities. Secondary outcomes included professionals' intention to use the selected quality indicators, and the costs of patient involvement. Priorities established with patients were more aligned with core generic components of the Medical Home and Chronic Care Model, including: access to primary care, self-care support, patient participation in clinical decisions, and partnership with community organizations (p Priorities established by professionals alone placed more emphasis on the technical quality of single disease management. The involvement intervention fostered mutual influence between patients and professionals, which resulted in a 41% increase in agreement on common priorities (95%CI: +12% to +58%, p priorities. Patient involvement can change priorities driving healthcare

  12. Efficacy of a workplace osteoporosis prevention intervention: a cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ai May Tan

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease. Adequate calcium consumption and physical activity are the two major modifiable risk factors. This paper describes the major outcomes and efficacy of a workplace-based targeted behaviour change intervention to improve the dietary and physical activity behaviours of working women in sedentary occupations in Singapore. Methods A cluster-randomized design was used, comparing the efficacy of a tailored intervention to standard care. Workplaces were the units of randomization and intervention. Sixteen workplaces were recruited from a pool of 97, and randomly assigned to intervention and control arms (eight workplaces in each. Women meeting specified inclusion criteria were then recruited to participate. Workplaces in the intervention arm received three participatory workshops and organization-wide educational activities. Workplaces in the control/standard care arm received print resources. Outcome measures were calcium intake (milligrams/day and physical activity level (duration: minutes/week, measured at baseline, 4 weeks and 6 months post intervention. Adjusted cluster-level analyses were conducted comparing changes in intervention versus control groups, following intention-to-treat principles and CONSORT guidelines. Results Workplaces in the intervention group reported a significantly greater increase in calcium intake and duration of load-bearing moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA compared with the standard care control group. Four weeks after intervention, the difference in adjusted mean calcium intake was 343.2 mg/day (95 % CI = 337.4 to 349.0, p < .0005 and the difference in adjusted mean load-bearing MVPA was 55.6 min/week (95 % CI = 54.5 to 56.6, p < .0005. Six months post intervention, the mean differences attenuated slightly to 290.5 mg/day (95 % CI = 285.3 to 295.7, p < .0005 and 50.9 min/week (95 % CI =49.3 to 52.6, p < .0005

  13. A cluster-based randomized controlled trial promoting community participation in arsenic mitigation efforts in Bangladesh

    OpenAIRE

    George, Christine Marie; van Geen, Alexander; Slavkovich, Vesna; Singha, Ashit; Levy, Diane; Islam, Tariqul; Ahmed, Kazi Matin; Moon-Howard, Joyce; Tarozzi, Alessandro; Liu, Xinhua; Factor-Litvak, Pam; Graziano, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Objective To reduce arsenic (As) exposure, we evaluated the effectiveness of training community members to perform water arsenic (WAs) testing and provide As education compared to sending representatives from outside communities to conduct these tasks. Methods We conducted a cluster based randomized controlled trial of 20 villages in Singair, Bangladesh. Fifty eligible respondents were randomly selected in each village. In 10 villages, a community member provided As education and WAs...

  14. RRW: repeated random walks on genome-scale protein networks for local cluster discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Can Tolga

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We propose an efficient and biologically sensitive algorithm based on repeated random walks (RRW for discovering functional modules, e.g., complexes and pathways, within large-scale protein networks. Compared to existing cluster identification techniques, RRW implicitly makes use of network topology, edge weights, and long range interactions between proteins. Results We apply the proposed technique on a functional network of yeast genes and accurately identify statistically significant clusters of proteins. We validate the biological significance of the results using known complexes in the MIPS complex catalogue database and well-characterized biological processes. We find that 90% of the created clusters have the majority of their catalogued proteins belonging to the same MIPS complex, and about 80% have the majority of their proteins involved in the same biological process. We compare our method to various other clustering techniques, such as the Markov Clustering Algorithm (MCL, and find a significant improvement in the RRW clusters' precision and accuracy values. Conclusion RRW, which is a technique that exploits the topology of the network, is more precise and robust in finding local clusters. In addition, it has the added flexibility of being able to find multi-functional proteins by allowing overlapping clusters.

  15. Design, rationale, and baseline demographics of SEARCH I: a prospective cluster-randomized study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albers F

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Frank Albers,1 Asif Shaikh,2 Ahmar Iqbal,31Medical Affairs Respiratory, 2Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Field Based Medicine-Respiratory, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Ridgefield, CT, USA; 3Respiratory Medical Affairs, Pfizer Inc, New York, NY, USAAbstract: Questionnaires are available to identify patients at risk for several chronic diseases, including COPD, but are infrequently utilized in primary care. COPD is often underdiagnosed, while at the same time the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends against spirometric screening for COPD in asymptomatic adults. Use of a symptom-based questionnaire and subsequent handheld spirometric device depending on the answers to the questionnaire is a promising approach to identify patients at risk for COPD. Screening, Evaluating and Assessing Rate CHanges of diagnosing respiratory conditions in primary care 1 (SEARCH I was a prospective cluster-randomized study in 168 US primary care practices evaluating the effect of the COPD-Population Screener (COPD-PS™ questionnaire. The effect of this questionnaire alone or sequentially with the handheld copd-6TM device was evaluated on new diagnoses of COPD and on respiratory diagnostic practice patterns (including referrals for pulmonary function testing, referrals to pulmonologists, new diagnoses of COPD, and new respiratory medication prescriptions. Participating practices entered a total of 9704 consecutive consenting subjects aged ≥ 40 years attending primary care clinics. Study arm results were compared for new COPD diagnosis rates between usual care and (1 COPD-PS plus copd-6 and (2 COPD-PS alone. A cluster-randomization design allowed comparison of the intervention effects at the practice level instead of individuals being the subjects of the intervention. Regional principal investigators controlled the flow of study information to sub-investigators at participating practices to reduce observation bias (Hawthorne effect. The

  16. Effect of Behavior Modification on Outcome in Early- to Moderate-Stage Chronic Kidney Disease: A Cluster-Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagata, Kunihiro; Makino, Hirofumi; Iseki, Kunitoshi; Ito, Sadayoshi; Kimura, Kenjiro; Kusano, Eiji; Shibata, Takanori; Tomita, Kimio; Narita, Ichiei; Nishino, Tomoya; Fujigaki, Yoshihide; Mitarai, Tetsuya; Watanabe, Tsuyoshi; Wada, Takashi; Nakamura, Teiji; Matsuo, Seiichi

    2016-01-01

    Owing to recent changes in our understanding of the underlying cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD), the importance of lifestyle modification for preventing the progression of kidney dysfunction and complications has become obvious. In addition, effective cooperation between general physicians (GPs) and nephrologists is essential to ensure a better care system for CKD treatment. In this cluster-randomized study, we studied the effect of behavior modification on the outcome of early- to moderate-stage CKD. Stratified open cluster-randomized trial. A total of 489 GPs belonging to 49 local medical associations (clusters) in Japan. A total of 2,379 patients (1,195 in group A (standard intervention) and 1,184 in group B (advanced intervention)) aged between 40 and 74 years, who had CKD and were under consultation with GPs. All patients were managed in accordance with the current CKD guidelines. The group B clusters received three additional interventions: patients received both educational intervention for lifestyle modification and a CKD status letter, attempting to prevent their withdrawal from treatment, and the group B GPs received data sheets to facilitate reducing the gap between target and practice. The primary outcome measures were 1) the non-adherence rate of accepting continuous medical follow-up of the patients, 2) the collaboration rate between GPs and nephrologists, and 3) the progression of CKD. The rate of discontinuous clinical visits was significantly lower in group B (16.2% in group A vs. 11.5% in group B, p = 0.01). Significantly higher referral and co-treatment rates were observed in group B (pbehavior modification of CKD patients, namely, significantly lower discontinuous clinical visits, and behavior modification of both GPs and nephrologists, namely significantly higher referral and co-treatment rates, resulting in the retardation of CKD progression, especially in patients with proteinuric Stage 3 CKD. The University Hospital Medical Information

  17. Cluster-level statistical inference in fMRI datasets: The unexpected behavior of random fields in high dimensions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Ravi; Peterson, Bradley S

    2018-06-01

    Identifying regional effects of interest in MRI datasets usually entails testing a priori hypotheses across many thousands of brain voxels, requiring control for false positive findings in these multiple hypotheses testing. Recent studies have suggested that parametric statistical methods may have incorrectly modeled functional MRI data, thereby leading to higher false positive rates than their nominal rates. Nonparametric methods for statistical inference when conducting multiple statistical tests, in contrast, are thought to produce false positives at the nominal rate, which has thus led to the suggestion that previously reported studies should reanalyze their fMRI data using nonparametric tools. To understand better why parametric methods may yield excessive false positives, we assessed their performance when applied both to simulated datasets of 1D, 2D, and 3D Gaussian Random Fields (GRFs) and to 710 real-world, resting-state fMRI datasets. We showed that both the simulated 2D and 3D GRFs and the real-world data contain a small percentage (<6%) of very large clusters (on average 60 times larger than the average cluster size), which were not present in 1D GRFs. These unexpectedly large clusters were deemed statistically significant using parametric methods, leading to empirical familywise error rates (FWERs) as high as 65%: the high empirical FWERs were not a consequence of parametric methods failing to model spatial smoothness accurately, but rather of these very large clusters that are inherently present in smooth, high-dimensional random fields. In fact, when discounting these very large clusters, the empirical FWER for parametric methods was 3.24%. Furthermore, even an empirical FWER of 65% would yield on average less than one of those very large clusters in each brain-wide analysis. Nonparametric methods, in contrast, estimated distributions from those large clusters, and therefore, by construct rejected the large clusters as false positives at the nominal

  18. Clinical fracture risk evaluated by hierarchical agglomerative clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kruse, C; Eiken, P; Vestergaard, P

    2017-01-01

    reimbursement, primary healthcare sector use and comorbidity of female subjects were combined. Standardized variable means, Euclidean distances and Ward's D2 method of hierarchical agglomerative clustering (HAC), were used to form the clustering object. K number of clusters was selected with the lowest cluster...

  19. Potts Model with Invisible Colors : Random-Cluster Representation and Pirogov–Sinai Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Enter, Aernout C.D. van; Iacobelli, Giulio; Taati, Siamak

    We study a recently introduced variant of the ferromagnetic Potts model consisting of a ferromagnetic interaction among q “visible” colors along with the presence of r non-interacting “invisible” colors. We introduce a random-cluster representation for the model, for which we prove the existence of

  20. The Effectiveness of Healthy Start Home Visit Program: Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Cynthia; Tsang, Sandra; Heung, Kitty

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The study reported the effectiveness of a home visit program for disadvantaged Chinese parents with preschool children, using cluster randomized controlled trial design. Method: Participants included 191 parents and their children from 24 preschools, with 84 dyads (12 preschools) in the intervention group and 107 dyads (12 preschools) in…

  1. Standardized Effect Size Measures for Mediation Analysis in Cluster-Randomized Trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapleton, Laura M.; Pituch, Keenan A.; Dion, Eric

    2015-01-01

    This article presents 3 standardized effect size measures to use when sharing results of an analysis of mediation of treatment effects for cluster-randomized trials. The authors discuss 3 examples of mediation analysis (upper-level mediation, cross-level mediation, and cross-level mediation with a contextual effect) with demonstration of the…

  2. Cluster Randomized Trail of the uptake of a take-home Infant dose ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: To test whether a single take home dose of infant nevirapine increased infant uptake without decreasing institutional deliveries. Design: Cluster randomized post-test only study with control group. Setting: Ten hospitals in urban areas of Coast, Rift Valley, and Western provinces, Kenya. Participants: Pregnant ...

  3. Point-of-care cluster randomized trial in stroke secondary prevention using electronic health records

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dregan, Alex; van Staa, Tjeerd P; McDermott, Lisa; McCann, Gerard; Ashworth, Mark; Charlton, Judith; Wolfe, Charles D A; Rudd, Anthony; Yardley, Lucy; Gulliford, Martin C

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the remote introduction of electronic decision support tools into family practices improves risk factor control after first stroke. This study also aimed to develop methods to implement cluster randomized trials in stroke using

  4. A simple sample size formula for analysis of covariance in cluster randomized trials.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teerenstra, S.; Eldridge, S.; Graff, M.J.; Hoop, E. de; Borm, G.F.

    2012-01-01

    For cluster randomized trials with a continuous outcome, the sample size is often calculated as if an analysis of the outcomes at the end of the treatment period (follow-up scores) would be performed. However, often a baseline measurement of the outcome is available or feasible to obtain. An

  5. Fit 5 Kids TV reduction program for Latino preschoolers: A cluster randomized controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reducing Latino preschoolers' TV viewing is needed to reduce their risk of obesity and other chronic diseases. This study's objective was to evaluate the Fit 5 Kids (F5K) TV reduction program's impact on Latino preschooler's TV viewing. The study design was a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT...

  6. Dynamic Load Balanced Clustering using Elitism based Random Immigrant Genetic Approach for Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Mohaideen Pitchai

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Wireless Sensor Network (WSN consists of a large number of small sensors with restricted energy. Prolonged network lifespan, scalability, node mobility and load balancing are important needs for several WSN applications. Clustering the sensor nodes is an efficient technique to reach these goals. WSN have the characteristics of topology dynamics because of factors like energy conservation and node movement that leads to Dynamic Load Balanced Clustering Problem (DLBCP. In this paper, Elitism based Random Immigrant Genetic Approach (ERIGA is proposed to solve DLBCP which adapts to topology dynamics. ERIGA uses the dynamic Genetic Algorithm (GA components for solving the DLBCP. The performance of load balanced clustering process is enhanced with the help of this dynamic GA. As a result, the ERIGA achieves to elect suitable cluster heads which balances the network load and increases the lifespan of the network.

  7. Effect of village-wide use of long-lasting insecticidal nets on visceral Leishmaniasis vectors in India and Nepal: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picado, Albert; Das, Murari L; Kumar, Vijay; Kesari, Shreekant; Dinesh, Diwakar S; Roy, Lalita; Rijal, Suman; Das, Pradeep; Rowland, Mark; Sundar, Shyam; Coosemans, Marc; Boelaert, Marleen; Davies, Clive R

    2010-01-26

    Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) control in the Indian subcontinent is currently based on case detection and treatment, and on vector control using indoor residual spraying (IRS). The use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LN) has been postulated as an alternative or complement to IRS. Here we tested the impact of comprehensive distribution of LN on the density of Phlebotomus argentipes in VL-endemic villages. A cluster-randomized controlled trial with household P. argentipes density as outcome was designed. Twelve clusters from an ongoing LN clinical trial--three intervention and three control clusters in both India and Nepal--were selected on the basis of accessibility and VL incidence. Ten houses per cluster selected on the basis of high pre-intervention P. argentipes density were monitored monthly for 12 months after distribution of LN using CDC light traps (LT) and mouth aspiration methods. Ten cattle sheds per cluster were also monitored by aspiration. A random effect linear regression model showed that the cluster-wide distribution of LNs significantly reduced the P. argentipes density/house by 24.9% (95% CI 1.80%-42.5%) as measured by means of LTs. The ongoing clinical trial, designed to measure the impact of LNs on VL incidence, will confirm whether LNs should be adopted as a control strategy in the regional VL elimination programs. The entomological evidence described here provides some evidence that LNs could be usefully deployed as part of the VL control program. ClinicalTrials.gov CT-2005-015374.

  8. Estimating overall exposure effects for the clustered and censored outcome using random effect Tobit regression models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Griswold, Michael E

    2016-11-30

    The random effect Tobit model is a regression model that accommodates both left- and/or right-censoring and within-cluster dependence of the outcome variable. Regression coefficients of random effect Tobit models have conditional interpretations on a constructed latent dependent variable and do not provide inference of overall exposure effects on the original outcome scale. Marginalized random effects model (MREM) permits likelihood-based estimation of marginal mean parameters for the clustered data. For random effect Tobit models, we extend the MREM to marginalize over both the random effects and the normal space and boundary components of the censored response to estimate overall exposure effects at population level. We also extend the 'Average Predicted Value' method to estimate the model-predicted marginal means for each person under different exposure status in a designated reference group by integrating over the random effects and then use the calculated difference to assess the overall exposure effect. The maximum likelihood estimation is proposed utilizing a quasi-Newton optimization algorithm with Gauss-Hermite quadrature to approximate the integration of the random effects. We use these methods to carefully analyze two real datasets. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Implementation of client versus care-provider strategies to improve external cephalic version rates: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vlemmix, Floortje; Rosman, Ageeth N.; Rijnders, Marlies E.; Beuckens, Antje; Opmeer, Brent C.; Mol, Ben W. J.; Kok, Marjolein; Fleuren, Margot A. H.

    2015-01-01

    To determine the effectiveness of a client or care-provider strategy to improve the implementation of external cephalic version. Cluster randomized controlled trial. Twenty-five clusters; hospitals and their referring midwifery practices randomly selected in the Netherlands. Singleton breech

  10. Implementation of client versus care-provider strategies to improve external cephalic version rates: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vlemmix, F.; Rosman, A.N.; Rijnders, M.E.; Beuckens, A.; Opmeer, B.C.; Mol, B.W.J.; Kok, M.; Fleuren, M.A.H.

    2015-01-01

    Onjective: To determine the effectiveness of a client or care-provider strategy to improve the implementation of external cephalic version. Design: Cluster randomized controlled trial.Setting: Twenty-five clusters; hospitals and their referring midwifery practices randomly selected in the

  11. Training contraceptive providers to offer intrauterine devices and implants in contraceptive care: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Kirsten M J; Rocca, Corinne H; Stern, Lisa; Morfesis, Johanna; Goodman, Suzan; Steinauer, Jody; Harper, Cynthia C

    2018-06-01

    US unintended pregnancy rates remain high, and contraceptive providers are not universally trained to offer intrauterine devices and implants to women who wish to use these methods. We sought to measure the impact of a provider training intervention on integration of intrauterine devices and implants into contraceptive care. We measured the impact of a continuing medical education-accredited provider training intervention on provider attitudes, knowledge, and practices in a cluster randomized trial in 40 US health centers from 2011 through 2013. Twenty clinics were randomly assigned to the intervention arm; 20 offered routine care. Clinic staff participated in baseline and 1-year surveys assessing intrauterine device and implant knowledge, attitudes, and practices. We used a difference-in-differences approach to compare changes that occurred in the intervention sites to changes in the control sites 1 year later. Prespecified outcome measures included: knowledge of patient eligibility for intrauterine devices and implants; attitudes about method safety; and counseling practices. We used multivariable regression with generalized estimating equations to account for clustering by clinic to examine intervention effects on provider outcomes 1 year later. Overall, we surveyed 576 clinic staff (314 intervention, 262 control) at baseline and/or 1-year follow-up. The change in proportion of providers who believed that the intrauterine device was safe was greater in intervention (60% at baseline to 76% at follow-up) than control sites (66% at both times) (adjusted odds ratio, 2.48; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-5.4). Likewise, for the implant, the proportion increased from 57-77% in intervention, compared to 61-65% in control sites (adjusted odds ratio, 2.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.44-4.59). The proportion of providers who believed they were experienced to counsel on intrauterine devices also increased in intervention (53-67%) and remained the same in control sites (60

  12. Live Attenuated Versus Inactivated Influenza Vaccine in Hutterite Children: A Cluster Randomized Blinded Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeb, Mark; Russell, Margaret L; Manning, Vanessa; Fonseca, Kevin; Earn, David J D; Horsman, Gregory; Chokani, Khami; Vooght, Mark; Babiuk, Lorne; Schwartz, Lisa; Neupane, Binod; Singh, Pardeep; Walter, Stephen D; Pullenayegum, Eleanor

    2016-11-01

    Whether vaccinating children with intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is more effective than inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) in providing both direct protection in vaccinated persons and herd protection in unvaccinated persons is uncertain. Hutterite colonies, where members live in close-knit, small rural communities in which influenza virus infection regularly occurs, offer an opportunity to address this question. To determine whether vaccinating children and adolescents with LAIV provides better community protection than IIV. A cluster randomized blinded trial conducted between October 2012 and May 2015 over 3 influenza seasons. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01653015). 52 Hutterite colonies in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. 1186 Canadian children and adolescents aged 36 months to 15 years who received the study vaccine and 3425 community members who did not. Children were randomly assigned according to community in a blinded manner to receive standard dosing of either trivalent LAIV or trivalent IIV. The primary outcome was reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction-confirmed influenza A or B virus in all participants (vaccinated children and persons who did not receive the study vaccine). Mean vaccine coverage among children in the LAIV group was 76.9% versus 72.3% in the IIV group. Influenza virus infection occurred at a rate of 5.3% (295 of 5560 person-years) in the LAIV group versus 5.2% (304 of 5810 person-years) in the IIV group. The hazard ratio comparing LAIV with IIV for influenza A or B virus was 1.03 (95% CI, 0.85 to 1.24). The study was conducted in Hutterite communities, which may limit generalizability. Immunizing children with LAIV does not provide better community protection against influenza than IIV. The Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

  13. How large are the consequences of covariate imbalance in cluster randomized trials: a simulation study with a continuous outcome and a binary covariate at the cluster level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerbeek, Mirjam; van Schie, Sander

    2016-07-11

    The number of clusters in a cluster randomized trial is often low. It is therefore likely random assignment of clusters to treatment conditions results in covariate imbalance. There are no studies that quantify the consequences of covariate imbalance in cluster randomized trials on parameter and standard error bias and on power to detect treatment effects. The consequences of covariance imbalance in unadjusted and adjusted linear mixed models are investigated by means of a simulation study. The factors in this study are the degree of imbalance, the covariate effect size, the cluster size and the intraclass correlation coefficient. The covariate is binary and measured at the cluster level; the outcome is continuous and measured at the individual level. The results show covariate imbalance results in negligible parameter bias and small standard error bias in adjusted linear mixed models. Ignoring the possibility of covariate imbalance while calculating the sample size at the cluster level may result in a loss in power of at most 25 % in the adjusted linear mixed model. The results are more severe for the unadjusted linear mixed model: parameter biases up to 100 % and standard error biases up to 200 % may be observed. Power levels based on the unadjusted linear mixed model are often too low. The consequences are most severe for large clusters and/or small intraclass correlation coefficients since then the required number of clusters to achieve a desired power level is smallest. The possibility of covariate imbalance should be taken into account while calculating the sample size of a cluster randomized trial. Otherwise more sophisticated methods to randomize clusters to treatments should be used, such as stratification or balance algorithms. All relevant covariates should be carefully identified, be actually measured and included in the statistical model to avoid severe levels of parameter and standard error bias and insufficient power levels.

  14. Bond percolation on a class of correlated and clustered random graphs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allard, A; Hébert-Dufresne, L; Noël, P-A; Marceau, V; Dubé, L J

    2012-01-01

    We introduce a formalism for computing bond percolation properties of a class of correlated and clustered random graphs. This class of graphs is a generalization of the configuration model where nodes of different types are connected via different types of hyperedges, edges that can link more than two nodes. We argue that the multitype approach coupled with the use of clustered hyperedges can reproduce a wide spectrum of complex patterns, and thus enhances our capability to model real complex networks. As an illustration of this claim, we use our formalism to highlight unusual behaviours of the size and composition of the components (small and giant) in a synthetic, albeit realistic, social network. (paper)

  15. Precision of systematic and random sampling in clustered populations: habitat patches and aggregating organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGarvey, Richard; Burch, Paul; Matthews, Janet M

    2016-01-01

    Natural populations of plants and animals spatially cluster because (1) suitable habitat is patchy, and (2) within suitable habitat, individuals aggregate further into clusters of higher density. We compare the precision of random and systematic field sampling survey designs under these two processes of species clustering. Second, we evaluate the performance of 13 estimators for the variance of the sample mean from a systematic survey. Replicated simulated surveys, as counts from 100 transects, allocated either randomly or systematically within the study region, were used to estimate population density in six spatial point populations including habitat patches and Matérn circular clustered aggregations of organisms, together and in combination. The standard one-start aligned systematic survey design, a uniform 10 x 10 grid of transects, was much more precise. Variances of the 10 000 replicated systematic survey mean densities were one-third to one-fifth of those from randomly allocated transects, implying transect sample sizes giving equivalent precision by random survey would need to be three to five times larger. Organisms being restricted to patches of habitat was alone sufficient to yield this precision advantage for the systematic design. But this improved precision for systematic sampling in clustered populations is underestimated by standard variance estimators used to compute confidence intervals. True variance for the survey sample mean was computed from the variance of 10 000 simulated survey mean estimates. Testing 10 published and three newly proposed variance estimators, the two variance estimators (v) that corrected for inter-transect correlation (ν₈ and ν(W)) were the most accurate and also the most precise in clustered populations. These greatly outperformed the two "post-stratification" variance estimators (ν₂ and ν₃) that are now more commonly applied in systematic surveys. Similar variance estimator performance rankings were found with

  16. Point-of-care cluster randomized trial in stroke secondary prevention using electronic health records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dregan, Alex; van Staa, Tjeerd P; McDermott, Lisa; McCann, Gerard; Ashworth, Mark; Charlton, Judith; Wolfe, Charles D A; Rudd, Anthony; Yardley, Lucy; Gulliford, Martin C; Trial Steering Committee

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the remote introduction of electronic decision support tools into family practices improves risk factor control after first stroke. This study also aimed to develop methods to implement cluster randomized trials in stroke using electronic health records. Family practices were recruited from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink and allocated to intervention and control trial arms by minimization. Remotely installed, electronic decision support tools promoted intensified secondary prevention for 12 months with last measure of systolic blood pressure as the primary outcome. Outcome data from electronic health records were analyzed using marginal models. There were 106 Clinical Practice Research Datalink family practices allocated (intervention, 53; control, 53), with 11 391 (control, 5516; intervention, 5875) participants with acute stroke ever diagnosed. Participants at trial practices had similar characteristics as 47,887 patients with stroke at nontrial practices. During the intervention period, blood pressure values were recorded in the electronic health records for 90% and cholesterol values for 84% of participants. After intervention, the latest mean systolic blood pressure was 131.7 (SD, 16.8) mm Hg in the control trial arm and 131.4 (16.7) mm Hg in the intervention trial arm, and adjusted mean difference was -0.56 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, -1.38 to 0.26; P=0.183). The financial cost of the trial was approximately US $22 per participant, or US $2400 per family practice allocated. Large pragmatic intervention studies may be implemented at low cost by using electronic health records. The intervention used in this trial was not found to be effective, and further research is needed to develop more effective intervention strategies. http://www.controlled-trials.com. Current Controlled Trials identifier: ISRCTN35701810. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.

  17. Ab initio random structure search for 13-atom clusters of fcc elements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chou, J P; Hsing, C R; Wei, C M; Cheng, C; Chang, C M

    2013-01-01

    The 13-atom metal clusters of fcc elements (Al, Rh, Ir, Ni, Pd, Pt, Cu, Ag, Au) were studied by density functional theory calculations. The global minima were searched for by the ab initio random structure searching method. In addition to some new lowest-energy structures for Pd 13 and Au 13 , we found that the effective coordination numbers of the lowest-energy clusters would increase with the ratio of the dimer-to-bulk bond length. This correlation, together with the electronic structures of the lowest-energy clusters, divides the 13-atom clusters of these fcc elements into two groups (except for Au 13 , which prefers a two-dimensional structure due to the relativistic effect). Compact-like clusters that are composed exclusively of triangular motifs are preferred for elements without d-electrons (Al) or with (nearly) filled d-band electrons (Ni, Pd, Cu, Ag). Non-compact clusters composed mainly of square motifs connected by some triangular motifs (Rh, Ir, Pt) are favored for elements with unfilled d-band electrons. (paper)

  18. Randomized clinical trial of laparoscopic versus open appendicectomy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, A G; Petersen, O B; Wara, P

    2001-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Laparoscopy in patients with a clinical suspicion of acute appendicitis has not gained wide acceptance, and its use remains controversial. METHODS: In a randomized controlled trial of laparoscopic versus open appendicectomy, 583 of 828 consecutive patients consented to participate...

  19. Fundamentals of randomized clinical trials in wound care

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eskes, Anne M; Brölmann, Fleur E; Sumpio, Bauer E

    2012-01-01

    randomization is a necessary feature of a robust comparative study, it is not sufficient to ensure a study at low risk of bias. Randomized clinical trials should also ensure adequate allocation concealment and blinding of outcome assessors, apply intention-to-treat analysis, and use patient-oriented outcomes...

  20. Disseminating quality improvement: study protocol for a large cluster-randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    French Michael T

    2011-04-01

    with outcome data will be included in the analysis, following the intent-to-treat principle. Organizational covariates in the analysis include program size, management score, and state. Discussion The study offers seven recommendations for conducting a large-scale cluster-randomized trial: provide valuable services, have aims that are clear and important, seek powerful allies, understand the recruiting challenge, cultivate commitment, address turnover, and encourage rigor and flexibility. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials. govNCT00934141

  1. Random effects models in clinical research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cleophas, T. J.; Zwinderman, A. H.

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In clinical trials a fixed effects research model assumes that the patients selected for a specific treatment have the same true quantitative effect and that the differences observed are residual error. If, however, we have reasons to believe that certain patients respond differently

  2. Maximizing scientific knowledge from randomized clinical trials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustafsson, Finn; Atar, Dan; Pitt, Bertram

    2010-01-01

    , in particular with respect to collaboration with the trial sponsor and to analytic pitfalls. The advantages of creating screening databases in conjunction with a given clinical trial are described; and finally, the potential for posttrial database studies to become a platform for training young scientists...

  3. Cluster-Randomized, Crossover Trial of Head Positioning in Acute Stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Craig S; Arima, Hisatomi; Lavados, Pablo; Billot, Laurent; Hackett, Maree L; Olavarría, Verónica V; Muñoz Venturelli, Paula; Brunser, Alejandro; Peng, Bin; Cui, Liying; Song, Lily; Rogers, Kris; Middleton, Sandy; Lim, Joyce Y; Forshaw, Denise; Lightbody, C Elizabeth; Woodward, Mark; Pontes-Neto, Octavio; De Silva, H Asita; Lin, Ruey-Tay; Lee, Tsong-Hai; Pandian, Jeyaraj D; Mead, Gillian E; Robinson, Thompson; Watkins, Caroline

    2017-06-22

    The role of supine positioning after acute stroke in improving cerebral blood flow and the countervailing risk of aspiration pneumonia have led to variation in head positioning in clinical practice. We wanted to determine whether outcomes in patients with acute ischemic stroke could be improved by positioning the patient to be lying flat (i.e., fully supine with the back horizontal and the face upwards) during treatment to increase cerebral perfusion. In a pragmatic, cluster-randomized, crossover trial conducted in nine countries, we assigned 11,093 patients with acute stroke (85% of the strokes were ischemic) to receive care in either a lying-flat position or a sitting-up position with the head elevated to at least 30 degrees, according to the randomization assignment of the hospital to which they were admitted; the designated position was initiated soon after hospital admission and was maintained for 24 hours. The primary outcome was degree of disability at 90 days, as assessed with the use of the modified Rankin scale (scores range from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating greater disability and a score of 6 indicating death). The median interval between the onset of stroke symptoms and the initiation of the assigned position was 14 hours (interquartile range, 5 to 35). Patients in the lying-flat group were less likely than patients in the sitting-up group to maintain the position for 24 hours (87% vs. 95%, P<0.001). In a proportional-odds model, there was no significant shift in the distribution of 90-day disability outcomes on the global modified Rankin scale between patients in the lying-flat group and patients in the sitting-up group (unadjusted odds ratio for a difference in the distribution of scores on the modified Rankin scale in the lying-flat group, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.92 to 1.10; P=0.84). Mortality within 90 days was 7.3% among the patients in the lying-flat group and 7.4% among the patients in the sitting-up group (P=0.83). There were

  4. Analysis of cost data in a cluster-randomized, controlled trial: comparison of methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sokolowski, Ineta; Ørnbøl, Eva; Rosendal, Marianne

    studies have used non-valid analysis of skewed data. We propose two different methods to compare mean cost in two groups. Firstly, we use a non-parametric bootstrap method where the re-sampling takes place on two levels in order to take into account the cluster effect. Secondly, we proceed with a log......-transformation of the cost data and apply the normal theory on these data. Again we try to account for the cluster effect. The performance of these two methods is investigated in a simulation study. The advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches are discussed.......  We consider health care data from a cluster-randomized intervention study in primary care to test whether the average health care costs among study patients differ between the two groups. The problems of analysing cost data are that most data are severely skewed. Median instead of mean...

  5. Non-random intrachromosomal distribution of radiation-induced chromatid aberrations in Vicia faba. [Aberration clustering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schubert, I; Rieger, R [Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR, Gatersleben. Zentralinst. fuer Genetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

    1976-04-01

    A reconstructed karyotype of Vicia faba, with all chromosomes individually distinguishable, was treated with X-rays, fast neutrons, (/sup 3/H) uridine (/sup 3/HU). The distribution within metaphase chromosomes of induced chromatid aberrations was non-random for all agents used. Aberration clustering, in part agent specific, occurred in chromosome segments containing heterochromatin as defined by the presence of G bands. The pattern of aberration clustering found after treatment with /sup 3/HU did not allow the recognition of chromosome regions active in transcription during treatment. Furthermore, it was impossible to obtain unambiguous indications of the presence of AT- and GC-base clusters from the patterns of /sup 3/HT- and /sup 3/HC-induced chromatid aberrations, respectively. Possible reasons underlying these observations are discussed.

  6. The covariance matrix of the Potts model: A random cluster analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borgs, C.; Chayes, J.T.

    1996-01-01

    We consider the covariance matrix, G mn = q 2 x ,m); δ(σ y ,n)>, of the d-dimensional q-states Potts model, rewriting it in the random cluster representation of Fortuin and Kasteleyn. In many of the q ordered phases, we identify the eigenvalues of this matrix both in terms of representations of the unbroken symmetry group of the model and in terms of random cluster connectivities and covariances, thereby attributing algebraic significance to these stochastic geometric quantities. We also show that the correlation length and the correlation length corresponding to the decay rate of one on the eigenvalues in the same as the inverse decay rate of the diameter of finite clusters. For dimension of d=2, we show that this correlation length and the correlation length of two-point function with free boundary conditions at the corresponding dual temperature are equal up to a factor of two. For systems with first-order transitions, this relation helps to resolve certain inconsistencies between recent exact and numerical work on correlation lengths at the self-dual point β o . For systems with second order transitions, this relation implies the equality of the correlation length exponents from above below threshold, as well as an amplitude ratio of two. In the course of proving the above results, we establish several properties of independent interest, including left continuity of the inverse correlation length with free boundary conditions and upper semicontinuity of the decay rate for finite clusters in all dimensions, and left continuity of the two-dimensional free boundary condition percolation probability at β o . We also introduce DLR equations for the random cluster model and use them to establish ergodicity of the free measure. In order to prove these results, we introduce a new class of events which we call decoupling events and two inequalities for these events

  7. A new combined strategy to implement a community occupational therapy intervention: designing a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adang Eddy

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Even effective interventions for people with dementia and their caregivers require specific implementation efforts. A pilot study showed that the highly effective community occupational therapy in dementia (COTiD program was not implemented optimally due to various barriers. To decrease these barriers and make implementation of the program more effective a combined implementation (CI strategy was developed. In our study we will compare the effectiveness of this CI strategy with the usual educational (ED strategy. Methods In this cluster randomized, single-blinded, controlled trial, each cluster consists of at least two occupational therapists, a manager, and a physician working at Dutch healthcare organizations that deliver community occupational therapy. Forty-five clusters, stratified by healthcare setting (nursing home, hospital, mental health service, have been allocated randomly to either the intervention group (CI strategy or the control group (ED strategy. The study population consists of the professionals included in each cluster and community-dwelling people with dementia and their caregivers. The primary outcome measures are the use of community OT, the adherence of OTs to the COTiD program, and the cost effectiveness of implementing the COTiD program in outpatient care. Secondary outcome measures are patient and caregiver outcomes and knowledge of managers, physicians and OTs about the COTiD program. Discussion Implementation research is fairly new in the field of occupational therapy, making this a unique study. This study does not only evaluate the effects of the CI-strategy on professionals, but also the effects of professionals' degree of implementation on client and caregiver outcomes. Clinical trials registration NCT01117285

  8. Recruitment to Online Therapies for Depression: Pilot Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Ray B; Goldsmith, Lesley; Hewson, Paul; Williams, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    Background Raising awareness of online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could benefit many people with depression, but we do not know how purchasing online advertising compares to placing free links from relevant local websites in increasing uptake. Objective To pilot a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing purchase of Google AdWords with placing free website links in raising awareness of online CBT resources for depression in order to better understand research design issues....

  9. A Denoising Scheme for Randomly Clustered Noise Removal in ICCD Sensing Image

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Wang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available An Intensified Charge-Coupled Device (ICCD image is captured by the ICCD image sensor in extremely low-light conditions. Its noise has two distinctive characteristics. (a Different from the independent identically distributed (i.i.d. noise in natural image, the noise in the ICCD sensing image is spatially clustered, which induces unexpected structure information; (b The pattern of the clustered noise is formed randomly. In this paper, we propose a denoising scheme to remove the randomly clustered noise in the ICCD sensing image. First, we decompose the image into non-overlapped patches and classify them into flat patches and structure patches according to if real structure information is included. Then, two denoising algorithms are designed for them, respectively. For each flat patch, we simulate multiple similar patches for it in pseudo-time domain and remove its noise by averaging all the simulated patches, considering that the structure information induced by the noise varies randomly over time. For each structure patch, we design a structure-preserved sparse coding algorithm to reconstruct the real structure information. It reconstructs each patch by describing it as a weighted summation of its neighboring patches and incorporating the weights into the sparse representation of the current patch. Based on all the reconstructed patches, we generate a reconstructed image. After that, we repeat the whole process by changing relevant parameters, considering that blocking artifacts exist in a single reconstructed image. Finally, we obtain the reconstructed image by merging all the generated images into one. Experiments are conducted on an ICCD sensing image dataset, which verifies its subjective performance in removing the randomly clustered noise and preserving the real structure information in the ICCD sensing image.

  10. Structuring communication relationships for interprofessional teamwork (SCRIPT): a cluster randomized controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

    Zwarenstein, Merrick; Reeves, Scott; Russell, Ann; Kenaszchuk, Chris; Conn, Lesley Gotlib; Miller, Karen-Lee; Lingard, Lorelei; Thorpe, Kevin E

    2007-01-01

    Abstract Background Despite a burgeoning interest in using interprofessional approaches to promote effective collaboration in health care, systematic reviews find scant evidence of benefit. This protocol describes the first cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) to design and evaluate an intervention intended to improve interprofessional collaborative communication and patient-centred care. Objectives The objective is to evaluate the effects of a four-component, hospital-based staff commun...

  11. Identifying novel phenotypes of acute heart failure using cluster analysis of clinical variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horiuchi, Yu; Tanimoto, Shuzou; Latif, A H M Mahbub; Urayama, Kevin Y; Aoki, Jiro; Yahagi, Kazuyuki; Okuno, Taishi; Sato, Yu; Tanaka, Tetsu; Koseki, Keita; Komiyama, Kota; Nakajima, Hiroyoshi; Hara, Kazuhiro; Tanabe, Kengo

    2018-07-01

    Acute heart failure (AHF) is a heterogeneous disease caused by various cardiovascular (CV) pathophysiology and multiple non-CV comorbidities. We aimed to identify clinically important subgroups to improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of AHF and inform clinical decision-making. We evaluated detailed clinical data of 345 consecutive AHF patients using non-hierarchical cluster analysis of 77 variables, including age, sex, HF etiology, comorbidities, physical findings, laboratory data, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram and treatment during hospitalization. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was performed to estimate the association between the clusters and clinical outcomes. Three clusters were identified. Cluster 1 (n=108) represented "vascular failure". This cluster had the highest average systolic blood pressure at admission and lung congestion with type 2 respiratory failure. Cluster 2 (n=89) represented "cardiac and renal failure". They had the lowest ejection fraction (EF) and worst renal function. Cluster 3 (n=148) comprised mostly older patients and had the highest prevalence of atrial fibrillation and preserved EF. Death or HF hospitalization within 12-month occurred in 23% of Cluster 1, 36% of Cluster 2 and 36% of Cluster 3 (p=0.034). Compared with Cluster 1, risk of death or HF hospitalization was 1.74 (95% CI, 1.03-2.95, p=0.037) for Cluster 2 and 1.82 (95% CI, 1.13-2.93, p=0.014) for Cluster 3. Cluster analysis may be effective in producing clinically relevant categories of AHF, and may suggest underlying pathophysiology and potential utility in predicting clinical outcomes. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Computer-Based Driving in Dementia Decision Tool With Mail Support: Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapoport, Mark J; Zucchero Sarracini, Carla; Kiss, Alex; Lee, Linda; Byszewski, Anna; Seitz, Dallas P; Vrkljan, Brenda; Molnar, Frank; Herrmann, Nathan; Tang-Wai, David F; Frank, Christopher; Henry, Blair; Pimlott, Nicholas; Masellis, Mario; Naglie, Gary

    2018-05-25

    Physicians often find significant challenges in assessing automobile driving in persons with mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia and deciding when to report to transportation administrators. Care must be taken to balance the safety of patients and other road users with potential negative effects of issuing such reports. The aim of this study was to assess whether a computer-based Driving in Dementia Decision Tool (DD-DT) increased appropriate reporting of patients with mild dementia or mild cognitive impairment to transportation administrators. The study used a parallel-group cluster nonblinded randomized controlled trial design to test a multifaceted knowledge translation intervention. The intervention included a computer-based decision support system activated by the physician-user, which provides a recommendation about whether to report patients with mild dementia or mild cognitive impairment to transportation administrators, based on an algorithm derived from earlier work. The intervention also included a mailed educational package and Web-based specialized reporting forms. Specialists and family physicians with expertise in dementia or care of the elderly were stratified by sex and randomized to either use the DD-DT or a control version of the tool that required identical data input as the intervention group, but instead generated a generic reminder about the reporting legislation in Ontario, Canada. The trial ran from September 9, 2014 to January 29, 2016, and the primary outcome was the number of reports made to the transportation administrators concordant with the algorithm. A total of 69 participating physicians were randomized, and 36 of these used the DD-DT; 20 of the 35 randomized to the intervention group used DD-DT with 114 patients, and 16 of the 34 randomized to the control group used it with 103 patients. The proportion of all assessed patients reported to the transportation administrators concordant with recommendation did not differ

  13. Does training frequency and supervision affect compliance, performance and muscular health? A cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalager, Tina; Bredahl, Thomas G V; Pedersen, Mogens T; Boyle, Eleanor; Andersen, Lars L; Sjøgaard, Gisela

    2015-10-01

    The aim was to determine the effect of one weekly hour of specific strength training within working hours, performed with the same total training volume but with different training frequencies and durations, or with different levels of supervision, on compliance, muscle health and performance, behavior and work performance. In total, 573 office workers were cluster-randomized to: 1 WS: one 60-min supervised session/week, 3 WS: three 20-min supervised sessions/week, 9 WS: nine 7-min supervised sessions/week, 3 MS: three 20-min sessions/week with minimal supervision, or REF: a reference group without training. Outcomes were diary-based compliance, total training volume, muscle performance and questionnaire-based health, behavior and work performance. Comparisons were made among the WS training groups and between 3 WS and 3 MS. If no difference, training groups were collapsed (TG) and compared with REF. Results demonstrated similar degrees of compliance, mean(range) of 39(33-44)%, and total training volume, 13.266(11.977-15.096)kg. Musculoskeletal pain in neck and shoulders were reduced with approx. 50% in TG, which was significant compared with REF. Only the training groups improved significantly their muscle strength 8(4-13)% and endurance 27(12-37)%, both being significant compared with REF. No change in workability, productivity or self-rated health was demonstrated. Secondary analysis showed exercise self-efficacy to be a significant predictor of compliance. Regardless of training schedule and supervision, similar degrees of compliance were shown together with reduced musculoskeletal pain and improved muscle performance. These findings provide evidence that a great degree of flexibility is legitimate for companies in planning future implementation of physical exercise programs at the workplace. ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01027390. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. School-based strategies for oral health education of adolescents- a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haleem Abdul

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Oral health education (OHE in schools has largely been imparted by dental professionals. Considering the substantial cost of this expert-led approach, the strategies relying on teachers, peer-leaders and learners themselves have also been utilized. However the evidence for comparative effectiveness of these strategies is lacking in the dental literature. The present study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of dentist-led, teacher-led, peer-led and self-learning strategies of oral health education. Methods A two-year cluster randomized controlled trial following a parallel design was conducted. It involved five groups of adolescents aged 10-11 years at the start of the study. The trial involved process as well as four outcome evaluations. The present paper discusses the findings of the study pertaining to the baseline and final outcome evaluation, both comprising of a self-administered questionnaire, a structured interview and clinical oral examination. The data were analyzed using Generalized Estimating Equations. Results All the three educator-led strategies of OHE had statistically higher mean oral health knowledge (OHK, oral health behavior (OHB, oral hygiene status (OHS and combined knowledge, behavior and oral hygiene status (KBS scores than the self-learning and control groups (p Conclusions The dentist-led, teacher-led and peer-led strategies of oral health education are equally effective in improving the oral health knowledge and oral hygiene status of adolescents. The peer-led strategy, however, is almost as effective as the dentist-led strategy and comparatively more effective than the teacher-led and self-learning strategies in improving their oral health behavior. Trail registration SRCTN39391017

  15. Randomized Clinical Trials on Deep Carious Lesions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørndal, Lars; Fransson, Helena; Bruun, Gitte

    2017-01-01

    nonselective carious removal to hard dentin with or without pulp exposure. The aim of this article was to report the 5-y outcome on these previously treated patients having radiographically well-defined carious lesions extending into the pulpal quarter of the dentin but with a well-defined radiodense zone...... pulp exposures per se were included as failures. Pulp exposure rate was significantly lower in the stepwise carious removal group (21.2% vs. 35.5%; P = 0.014). Irrespective of pulp exposure status, the difference (13.3%) was still significant when sustained pulp vitality without apical radiolucency......) in deep carious lesions in adults. In conclusion, the stepwise carious removal group had a significantly higher proportion of pulps with sustained vitality without apical radiolucency versus nonselective carious removal of deep carious lesions in adult teeth at 5-y follow-up (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT...

  16. Selection bias and subject refusal in a cluster-randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rochelle Yang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Selection bias and non-participation bias are major methodological concerns which impact external validity. Cluster-randomized controlled trials are especially prone to selection bias as it is impractical to blind clusters to their allocation into intervention or control. This study assessed the impact of selection bias in a large cluster-randomized controlled trial. Methods The Improved Cardiovascular Risk Reduction to Enhance Rural Primary Care (ICARE study examined the impact of a remote pharmacist-led intervention in twelve medical offices. To assess eligibility, a standardized form containing patient demographics and medical information was completed for each screened patient. Eligible patients were approached by the study coordinator for recruitment. Both the study coordinator and the patient were aware of the site’s allocation prior to consent. Patients who consented or declined to participate were compared across control and intervention arms for differing characteristics. Statistical significance was determined using a two-tailed, equal variance t-test and a chi-square test with adjusted Bonferroni p-values. Results were adjusted for random cluster variation. Results There were 2749 completed screening forms returned to research staff with 461 subjects who had either consented or declined participation. Patients with poorly controlled diabetes were found to be significantly more likely to decline participation in intervention sites compared to those in control sites. A higher mean diastolic blood pressure was seen in patients with uncontrolled hypertension who declined in the control sites compared to those who declined in the intervention sites. However, these findings were no longer significant after adjustment for random variation among the sites. After this adjustment, females were now found to be significantly more likely to consent than males (odds ratio = 1.41; 95% confidence interval = 1.03, 1

  17. Rain dance: the role of randomization in clinical trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diniz JB

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Juliana Belo Diniz,1 Victor Fossaluza,2 Carlos Alberto de Bragança Pereira,1,2 Sergio Wechsler2 1Institute of Psychiatry, Clinics Hospital University of São Paulo Medical School, 2Department of Statistics, Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil Abstract: Randomized clinical trials are the gold standard for testing efficacy of treatment interventions. However, although randomization protects against deliberately biased samples, it does not guarantee random imbalances will not occur. Methods of intentional allocation that can overcome such deficiency of randomization have been developed, but are less frequently applied than randomization. Initially, we introduce a fictitious case example to revise and discuss the reasons of researchers' resistance to intentionally allocate instead of simply randomizing. We then introduce a real case example to evaluate the performance of an intentional protocol for allocation based on compositional data balance. A real case of allocation of 50 patients in two arms was compared with an optimal allocation of global instead of sequential arrivals. Performance was measured by a weighted average of Aitchison distances, between arms, of prognostic factors. To compare the intentional allocation with simple random allocation, 50,000 arrival orderings of 50 patients were simulated. To each one of the orders, both kinds of allocations into two arms were considered. Intentional allocation performed as well as optimal allocation in the case considered. In addition, out of the 50,000 simulated orders, 61% of them performed better with intentional allocation than random allocation. Hence, we conclude that intentional allocation should be encouraged in the design of future interventional clinical trials as a way to prevent unbalanced samples. Our sequential method is a viable alternative to overcome technical difficulties for study designs that require sequential inclusion of

  18. Effectiveness of a group diabetes education programme in underserved communities in South Africa: pragmatic cluster randomized control trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mash, Bob; Levitt, Naomi; Steyn, Krisela; Zwarenstein, Merrick; Rollnick, Stephen

    2012-12-24

    Diabetes is an important contributor to the burden of disease in South Africa and prevalence rates as high as 33% have been recorded in Cape Town. Previous studies show that quality of care and health outcomes are poor. The development of an effective education programme should impact on self-care, lifestyle change and adherence to medication; and lead to better control of diabetes, fewer complications and better quality of life. Pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trialParticipants: Type 2 diabetic patients attending 45 public sector community health centres in Cape TownInterventions: The intervention group will receive 4 sessions of group diabetes education delivered by a health promotion officer in a guiding style. The control group will receive usual care which consists of ad hoc advice during consultations and occasional educational talks in the waiting room. To evaluate the effectiveness of the group diabetes education programmeOutcomes: diabetes self-care activities, 5% weight loss, 1% reduction in HbA1c. self-efficacy, locus of control, mean blood pressure, mean weight loss, mean waist circumference, mean HbA1c, mean total cholesterol, quality of lifeRandomisation: Computer generated random numbersBlinding: Patients, health promoters and research assistants could not be blinded to the health centre's allocationNumbers randomized: Seventeen health centres (34 in total) will be randomly assigned to either control or intervention groups. A sample size of 1360 patients in 34 clusters of 40 patients will give a power of 80% to detect the primary outcomes with 5% precision. Altogether 720 patients were recruited in the intervention arm and 850 in the control arm giving a total of 1570. The study will inform policy makers and managers of the district health system, particularly in low to middle income countries, if this programme can be implemented more widely. Pan African Clinical Trial Registry PACTR201205000380384.

  19. Effectiveness of a group diabetes education programme in underserved communities in South Africa: pragmatic cluster randomized control trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mash Bob

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Diabetes is an important contributor to the burden of disease in South Africa and prevalence rates as high as 33% have been recorded in Cape Town. Previous studies show that quality of care and health outcomes are poor. The development of an effective education programme should impact on self-care, lifestyle change and adherence to medication; and lead to better control of diabetes, fewer complications and better quality of life. Methods Trial design: Pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial Participants: Type 2 diabetic patients attending 45 public sector community health centres in Cape Town Interventions: The intervention group will receive 4 sessions of group diabetes education delivered by a health promotion officer in a guiding style. The control group will receive usual care which consists of ad hoc advice during consultations and occasional educational talks in the waiting room. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of the group diabetes education programme Outcomes: Primary outcomes: diabetes self-care activities, 5% weight loss, 1% reduction in HbA1c. Secondary outcomes: self-efficacy, locus of control, mean blood pressure, mean weight loss, mean waist circumference, mean HbA1c, mean total cholesterol, quality of life Randomisation: Computer generated random numbers Blinding: Patients, health promoters and research assistants could not be blinded to the health centre’s allocation Numbers randomized: Seventeen health centres (34 in total will be randomly assigned to either control or intervention groups. A sample size of 1360 patients in 34 clusters of 40 patients will give a power of 80% to detect the primary outcomes with 5% precision. Altogether 720 patients were recruited in the intervention arm and 850 in the control arm giving a total of 1570. Discussion The study will inform policy makers and managers of the district health system, particularly in low to middle income countries, if this programme can

  20. National Cluster-Randomized Trial of Duty-Hour Flexibility in Surgical Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilimoria, Karl Y; Chung, Jeanette W; Hedges, Larry V; Dahlke, Allison R; Love, Remi; Cohen, Mark E; Hoyt, David B; Yang, Anthony D; Tarpley, John L; Mellinger, John D; Mahvi, David M; Kelz, Rachel R; Ko, Clifford Y; Odell, David D; Stulberg, Jonah J; Lewis, Frank R

    2016-02-25

    Concerns persist regarding the effect of current surgical resident duty-hour policies on patient outcomes, resident education, and resident well-being. We conducted a national, cluster-randomized, pragmatic, noninferiority trial involving 117 general surgery residency programs in the United States (2014-2015 academic year). Programs were randomly assigned to current Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) duty-hour policies (standard-policy group) or more flexible policies that waived rules on maximum shift lengths and time off between shifts (flexible-policy group). Outcomes included the 30-day rate of postoperative death or serious complications (primary outcome), other postoperative complications, and resident perceptions and satisfaction regarding their well-being, education, and patient care. In an analysis of data from 138,691 patients, flexible, less-restrictive duty-hour policies were not associated with an increased rate of death or serious complications (9.1% in the flexible-policy group and 9.0% in the standard-policy group, P=0.92; unadjusted odds ratio for the flexible-policy group, 0.96; 92% confidence interval, 0.87 to 1.06; P=0.44; noninferiority criteria satisfied) or of any secondary postoperative outcomes studied. Among 4330 residents, those in programs assigned to flexible policies did not report significantly greater dissatisfaction with overall education quality (11.0% in the flexible-policy group and 10.7% in the standard-policy group, P=0.86) or well-being (14.9% and 12.0%, respectively; P=0.10). Residents under flexible policies were less likely than those under standard policies to perceive negative effects of duty-hour policies on multiple aspects of patient safety, continuity of care, professionalism, and resident education but were more likely to perceive negative effects on personal activities. There were no significant differences between study groups in resident-reported perception of the effect of fatigue on

  1. Integration of family planning services into HIV care and treatment in Kenya: a cluster-randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossman, Daniel; Onono, Maricianah; Newmann, Sara J; Blat, Cinthia; Bukusi, Elizabeth A; Shade, Starley B; Steinfeld, Rachel L; Cohen, Craig R

    2013-10-01

    To determine whether integrating family planning services into HIV care is associated with increased use of more effective contraceptive methods (sterilization, intrauterine device, implant, injectable or oral contraceptives). Cluster-randomized trial. Eighteen public HIV clinics in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Women aged 18-45 years receiving care at participating HIV clinics; 5682 clinical encounters from baseline period (December 2009-February 2010) and 12,531 encounters from end-line period (July 2011-September 2011, 1 year after site training). Twelve sites were randomized to integrate family planning services into the HIV clinic, whereas six clinics were controls where clients desiring contraception were referred to family planning clinics at the same facility. Increase in use of more effective contraceptive methods between baseline and end-line periods. Pregnancy rates during the follow-up year (October 2010-September 2011) were also compared. Women seen at integrated sites were significantly more likely to use more effective contraceptive methods at the end of the study [increased from 16.7 to 36.6% at integrated sites, compared to increase from 21.1 to 29.8% at controls; odds ratio (OR) 1.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.24-2.63]. Condom use decreased non-significantly at intervention sites compared to controls (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.35-1.19). No difference was observed in incident pregnancy in the first year after integration comparing intervention to control sites (incidence rate ratio 0.90; 95% CI 0.68-1.20). Integration of family planning services into HIV care clinics increased use of more effective contraceptive methods with a non-significant reduction in condom use. Although no significant reduction in pregnancy incidence was observed during the study, 1 year may be too short a period of observation for this outcome.

  2. Effect of Behavior Modification on Outcome in Early- to Moderate-Stage Chronic Kidney Disease: A Cluster-Randomized Trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kunihiro Yamagata

    Full Text Available Owing to recent changes in our understanding of the underlying cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD, the importance of lifestyle modification for preventing the progression of kidney dysfunction and complications has become obvious. In addition, effective cooperation between general physicians (GPs and nephrologists is essential to ensure a better care system for CKD treatment. In this cluster-randomized study, we studied the effect of behavior modification on the outcome of early- to moderate-stage CKD.Stratified open cluster-randomized trial.A total of 489 GPs belonging to 49 local medical associations (clusters in Japan.A total of 2,379 patients (1,195 in group A (standard intervention and 1,184 in group B (advanced intervention aged between 40 and 74 years, who had CKD and were under consultation with GPs.All patients were managed in accordance with the current CKD guidelines. The group B clusters received three additional interventions: patients received both educational intervention for lifestyle modification and a CKD status letter, attempting to prevent their withdrawal from treatment, and the group B GPs received data sheets to facilitate reducing the gap between target and practice.The primary outcome measures were 1 the non-adherence rate of accepting continuous medical follow-up of the patients, 2 the collaboration rate between GPs and nephrologists, and 3 the progression of CKD.The rate of discontinuous clinical visits was significantly lower in group B (16.2% in group A vs. 11.5% in group B, p = 0.01. Significantly higher referral and co-treatment rates were observed in group B (p<0.01. The average eGFR deterioration rate tended to be lower in group B (group A: 2.6±5.8 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, group B: 2.4±5.1 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, p = 0.07. A significant difference in eGFR deterioration rate was observed in subjects with Stage 3 CKD (group A: 2.4±5.9 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, group B: 1.9±4.4 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, p = 0.03.Our care

  3. Subjective and objective outcomes in randomized clinical trials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moustgaard, Helene; Bello, Segun; Miller, Franklin G

    2014-01-01

    explicitly defined the terms. CONCLUSION: The terms "subjective" and "objective" are ambiguous when used to describe outcomes in randomized clinical trials. We suggest that the terms should be defined explicitly when used in connection with the assessment of risk of bias in a clinical trial......OBJECTIVES: The degree of bias in randomized clinical trials varies depending on whether the outcome is subjective or objective. Assessment of the risk of bias in a clinical trial will therefore often involve categorization of the type of outcome. Our primary aim was to examine how the concepts...... "subjective outcome" and "objective outcome" are defined in methodological publications and clinical trial reports. To put this examination into perspective, we also provide an overview of how outcomes are classified more broadly. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: A systematic review of methodological publications...

  4. Patient, Provider, and Combined Interventions for Managing Osteoarthritis in Primary Care: A Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Kelli D; Oddone, Eugene Z; Coffman, Cynthia J; Jeffreys, Amy S; Bosworth, Hayden B; Chatterjee, Ranee; McDuffie, Jennifer; Strauss, Jennifer L; Yancy, William S; Datta, Santanu K; Corsino, Leonor; Dolor, Rowena J

    2017-03-21

    A single-site study showed that a combined patient and provider intervention improved outcomes for patients with knee osteoarthritis, but it did not assess separate effects of the interventions. To examine whether patient-based, provider-based, and patient-provider interventions improve osteoarthritis outcomes. Cluster randomized trial with assignment to patient, provider, and patient-provider interventions or usual care. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01435109). 10 Duke University Health System community-based primary care clinics. 537 outpatients with symptomatic hip or knee osteoarthritis. The telephone-based patient intervention focused on weight management, physical activity, and cognitive behavioral pain management. The provider intervention involved electronic delivery of patient-specific osteoarthritis treatment recommendations to providers. The primary outcome was the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) total score at 12 months. Secondary outcomes were objective physical function (Short Physical Performance Battery) and depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire). Linear mixed models assessed the difference in improvement among groups. No difference was observed in WOMAC score changes from baseline to 12 months in the patient (-1.5 [95% CI, -5.1 to 2.0]; P = 0.40), provider (2.5 [CI, -0.9 to 5.9]; P = 0.152), or patient-provider (-0.7 [CI, -4.2 to 2.8]; P = 0.69) intervention groups compared with usual care. All groups had improvements in WOMAC scores at 12 months (range, -3.7 to -7.7). In addition, no differences were seen in objective physical function or depressive symptoms at 12 months in any of the intervention groups compared with usual care. The study involved 1 health care network. Data on provider referrals were not collected. Contrary to a previous study of a combined patient and provider intervention for osteoarthritis in a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center, this study found no statistically

  5. Implementation of evidence-based antenatal care in Mozambique: a cluster randomized controlled trial: study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavane, Leonardo; Merialdi, Mario; Betrán, Ana Pilar; Requejo-Harris, Jennifer; Bergel, Eduardo; Aleman, Alicia; Colomar, Mercedes; Cafferata, Maria Luisa; Carbonell, Alicia; Crahay, Beatrice; Delvaux, Therese; Geelhoed, Diederike; Gülmezoglu, Metin; Malapende, Celsa Regina; Melo, Armando; Nguyen, My Huong; Osman, Nafissa Bique; Widmer, Mariana; Temmerman, Marleen; Althabe, Fernando

    2014-05-21

    Antenatal care (ANC) reduces maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality directly through the detection and treatment of pregnancy-related illnesses, and indirectly through the detection of women at increased risk of delivery complications. The potential benefits of quality antenatal care services are most significant in low-resource countries where morbidity and mortality levels among women of reproductive age and neonates are higher.WHO developed an ANC model that recommended the delivery of services scientifically proven to improve maternal, perinatal and neonatal outcomes. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of an intervention designed to increase the use of the package of evidence-based services included in the WHO ANC model in Mozambique. The primary hypothesis is that the intervention will increase the use of evidence-based practices during ANC visits in comparison to the standard dissemination channels currently used in the country. This is a demonstration project to be developed through a facility-based cluster randomized controlled trial with a stepped wedge design. The intervention was tailored, based on formative research findings, to be readily applicable to local prenatal care services and acceptable to local pregnant women and health providers. The intervention includes four components: the provision of kits with all necessary medicines and laboratory supplies for ANC (medical and non-medical equipment), a storage system, a tracking system, and training sessions for health care providers. Ten clinics were selected and will start receiving the intervention in a random order. Outcomes will be computed at each time point when a new clinic starts the intervention. The primary outcomes are the delivery of selected health care practices to women attending the first ANC visit, and secondary outcomes are the delivery of selected health care practices to women attending second and higher ANC visits as well as the attitude of midwives in

  6. Dynamic connectivity algorithms for Monte Carlo simulations of the random-cluster model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elçi, Eren Metin; Weigel, Martin

    2014-01-01

    We review Sweeny's algorithm for Monte Carlo simulations of the random cluster model. Straightforward implementations suffer from the problem of computational critical slowing down, where the computational effort per edge operation scales with a power of the system size. By using a tailored dynamic connectivity algorithm we are able to perform all operations with a poly-logarithmic computational effort. This approach is shown to be efficient in keeping online connectivity information and is of use for a number of applications also beyond cluster-update simulations, for instance in monitoring droplet shape transitions. As the handling of the relevant data structures is non-trivial, we provide a Python module with a full implementation for future reference.

  7. Impact of an automated email notification system for results of tests pending at discharge: a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalal, Anuj K; Roy, Christopher L; Poon, Eric G; Williams, Deborah H; Nolido, Nyryan; Yoon, Cathy; Budris, Jonas; Gandhi, Tejal; Bates, David W; Schnipper, Jeffrey L

    2014-01-01

    Physician awareness of the results of tests pending at discharge (TPADs) is poor. We developed an automated system that notifies responsible physicians of TPAD results via secure, network email. We sought to evaluate the impact of this system on self-reported awareness of TPAD results by responsible physicians, a necessary intermediary step to improve management of TPAD results. We conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial at a major hospital affiliated with an integrated healthcare delivery network in Boston, Massachusetts. Adult patients with TPADs who were discharged from inpatient general medicine and cardiology services were assigned to the intervention or usual care arm if their inpatient attending physician and primary care physician (PCP) were both randomized to the same study arm. Patients of physicians randomized to discordant study arms were excluded. We surveyed these physicians 72 h after all TPAD results were finalized. The primary outcome was awareness of TPAD results by attending physicians. Secondary outcomes included awareness of TPAD results by PCPs, awareness of actionable TPAD results, and provider satisfaction. We analyzed data on 441 patients. We sent 441 surveys to attending physicians and 353 surveys to PCPs and received 275 and 152 responses from 83 different attending physicians and 112 different PCPs, respectively (attending physician survey response rate of 63%). Intervention attending physicians and PCPs were significantly more aware of TPAD results (76% vs 38%, adjusted/clustered OR 6.30 (95% CI 3.02 to 13.16), pemail notification represents a promising strategy for managing TPAD results, potentially mitigating an unresolved patient safety concern. ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01153451).

  8. HIV self-testing among female sex workers in Zambia: A cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael M Chanda

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available HIV self-testing (HIVST may play a role in addressing gaps in HIV testing coverage and as an entry point for HIV prevention services. We conducted a cluster randomized trial of 2 HIVST distribution mechanisms compared to the standard of care among female sex workers (FSWs in Zambia.Trained peer educators in Kapiri Mposhi, Chirundu, and Livingstone, Zambia, each recruited 6 FSW participants. Peer educator-FSW groups were randomized to 1 of 3 arms: (1 delivery (direct distribution of an oral HIVST from the peer educator, (2 coupon (a coupon for collection of an oral HIVST from a health clinic/pharmacy, or (3 standard-of-care HIV testing. Participants in the 2 HIVST arms received 2 kits: 1 at baseline and 1 at 10 weeks. The primary outcome was any self-reported HIV testing in the past month at the 1- and 4-month visits, as HIVST can replace other types of HIV testing. Secondary outcomes included linkage to care, HIVST use in the HIVST arms, and adverse events. Participants completed questionnaires at 1 and 4 months following peer educator interventions. In all, 965 participants were enrolled between September 16 and October 12, 2016 (delivery, N = 316; coupon, N = 329; standard of care, N = 320; 20% had never tested for HIV. Overall HIV testing at 1 month was 94.9% in the delivery arm, 84.4% in the coupon arm, and 88.5% in the standard-of-care arm (delivery versus standard of care risk ratio [RR] = 1.07, 95% CI 0.99-1.15, P = 0.10; coupon versus standard of care RR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.86-1.05, P = 0.29; delivery versus coupon RR = 1.13, 95% CI 1.04-1.22, P = 0.005. Four-month rates were 84.1% for the delivery arm, 79.8% for the coupon arm, and 75.1% for the standard-of-care arm (delivery versus standard of care RR = 1.11, 95% CI 0.98-1.27, P = 0.11; coupon versus standard of care RR = 1.06, 95% CI 0.92-1.22, P = 0.42; delivery versus coupon RR = 1.05, 95% CI 0.94-1.18, P = 0.40. At 1 month, the majority of HIV tests were self-tests (88.4%. HIV self

  9. HIV self-testing among female sex workers in Zambia: A cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanda, Michael M; Ortblad, Katrina F; Mwale, Magdalene; Chongo, Steven; Kanchele, Catherine; Kamungoma, Nyambe; Fullem, Andrew; Dunn, Caitlin; Barresi, Leah G; Harling, Guy; Bärnighausen, Till; Oldenburg, Catherine E

    2017-11-01

    HIV self-testing (HIVST) may play a role in addressing gaps in HIV testing coverage and as an entry point for HIV prevention services. We conducted a cluster randomized trial of 2 HIVST distribution mechanisms compared to the standard of care among female sex workers (FSWs) in Zambia. Trained peer educators in Kapiri Mposhi, Chirundu, and Livingstone, Zambia, each recruited 6 FSW participants. Peer educator-FSW groups were randomized to 1 of 3 arms: (1) delivery (direct distribution of an oral HIVST from the peer educator), (2) coupon (a coupon for collection of an oral HIVST from a health clinic/pharmacy), or (3) standard-of-care HIV testing. Participants in the 2 HIVST arms received 2 kits: 1 at baseline and 1 at 10 weeks. The primary outcome was any self-reported HIV testing in the past month at the 1- and 4-month visits, as HIVST can replace other types of HIV testing. Secondary outcomes included linkage to care, HIVST use in the HIVST arms, and adverse events. Participants completed questionnaires at 1 and 4 months following peer educator interventions. In all, 965 participants were enrolled between September 16 and October 12, 2016 (delivery, N = 316; coupon, N = 329; standard of care, N = 320); 20% had never tested for HIV. Overall HIV testing at 1 month was 94.9% in the delivery arm, 84.4% in the coupon arm, and 88.5% in the standard-of-care arm (delivery versus standard of care risk ratio [RR] = 1.07, 95% CI 0.99-1.15, P = 0.10; coupon versus standard of care RR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.86-1.05, P = 0.29; delivery versus coupon RR = 1.13, 95% CI 1.04-1.22, P = 0.005). Four-month rates were 84.1% for the delivery arm, 79.8% for the coupon arm, and 75.1% for the standard-of-care arm (delivery versus standard of care RR = 1.11, 95% CI 0.98-1.27, P = 0.11; coupon versus standard of care RR = 1.06, 95% CI 0.92-1.22, P = 0.42; delivery versus coupon RR = 1.05, 95% CI 0.94-1.18, P = 0.40). At 1 month, the majority of HIV tests were self-tests (88.4%). HIV self-test use

  10. Panel Management to Improve Smoking and Hypertension Outcomes by VA Primary Care Teams: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Mark D; Jensen, Ashley; Wang, Binhuan; Bennett, Katelyn; Dembitzer, Anne; Strauss, Shiela; Schoenthaler, Antoinette; Gillespie, Colleen; Sherman, Scott

    2015-07-01

    Panel Management can expand prevention and chronic illness management beyond the office visit, but there is limited evidence for its effectiveness or guidance on how best to incorporate it into practice. We aimed to test the effectiveness of incorporating panel management into clinical practice by incorporating Panel Management Assistants (PMAs) into primary care teams with and without panel management education. We conducted an 8-month cluster-randomized controlled trial of panel management for improving hypertension and smoking cessation outcomes among veterans. Twenty primary care teams from the Veterans Affairs New York Harbor were randomized to control, panel management support, or panel management support plus education groups. Teams included 69 clinical staff serving 8,153 hypertensive and/or smoking veterans. Teams assigned to the intervention groups worked with non-clinical Panel Management Assistants (PMAs) who monitored care gaps and conducted proactive patient outreach, including referrals, mail reminders and motivational interviewing by telephone. Measurements included mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure, proportion of patients with controlled blood pressure, self-reported quit attempts, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) prescriptions, and referrals to disease management services. Change in mean blood pressure, blood pressure control, and smoking quit rates were similar across study groups. Patients on intervention teams were more likely to receive NRT (OR = 1.4; 95% CI 1.2-1.6) and enroll in the disease management services MOVE! (OR = 1.2; 95% CI 1.1-1.6) and Telehealth (OR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.4-2.1) than patients on control teams. Panel Management support for primary care teams improved process, but not outcome variables among veterans with hypertension and smoking. Incorporating PMAs into teams was feasible and highly valued by the clinical staff, but clinical impact may require a longer intervention.

  11. A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial Comparing Efficacy, Safety ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial Comparing Efficacy, Safety and Cost Effectiveness of Lornoxicam with Diclofenac Sodium in Patients of Osteoarthritis Knee. ... All patients were assessed with visual analogue scale and 100 meter walking test before starting of therapy, at 15 days and at 1, 2 and 3 months of therapy.

  12. Identification of symptom clusters in cancer patients at palliative care clinic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gülçin Senel Özalp

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Cancer patients often experience a large number of symptoms together. The aim of this study is to determine the symptom clusters in cancer patients at palliative care clinic. Methods: Hundred and seventy consecutive patients were enrolled in the study. Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale was used for symptom assessment of the patients. Results: The most experienced symptoms by the patients during the past week before hospitalization in palliative care clinic were lack of energy (95.4%, weight loss (91.2%, lack of appetite (89.4%, pain (88.2%, dry mouth (87.6%, feeling sad (87.6%, feeling nervous (82.9%, worrying (81.2%, and feeling irritable (80.6%. Five symptom clusters were defined. First cluster: pain, feeling nervous, dry mouth, worrying, feeling irritable, weight loss; second cluster: feeling drowsy, numbness/tingling in hands/feet, difficulty in sleeping, dizziness, constipation, I do not look like myself; third cluster: nausea, vomiting; fourth cluster: shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing, cough, change in the way food tastes; and fifth cluster: feeling bloated, problems with urination, diarrhea, itching, mouth sores, hair loss, swelling of arm or legs, change in the skin. Conclusions: We encountered various symptom clusters in advanced cancer patients. Identification of symptom clusters and knowledge of cluster composition in oncological population may particularly contribute individualization of the treatment.

  13. Comparison of population-averaged and cluster-specific models for the analysis of cluster randomized trials with missing binary outcomes: a simulation study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Jinhui

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstracts Background The objective of this simulation study is to compare the accuracy and efficiency of population-averaged (i.e. generalized estimating equations (GEE and cluster-specific (i.e. random-effects logistic regression (RELR models for analyzing data from cluster randomized trials (CRTs with missing binary responses. Methods In this simulation study, clustered responses were generated from a beta-binomial distribution. The number of clusters per trial arm, the number of subjects per cluster, intra-cluster correlation coefficient, and the percentage of missing data were allowed to vary. Under the assumption of covariate dependent missingness, missing outcomes were handled by complete case analysis, standard multiple imputation (MI and within-cluster MI strategies. Data were analyzed using GEE and RELR. Performance of the methods was assessed using standardized bias, empirical standard error, root mean squared error (RMSE, and coverage probability. Results GEE performs well on all four measures — provided the downward bias of the standard error (when the number of clusters per arm is small is adjusted appropriately — under the following scenarios: complete case analysis for CRTs with a small amount of missing data; standard MI for CRTs with variance inflation factor (VIF 50. RELR performs well only when a small amount of data was missing, and complete case analysis was applied. Conclusion GEE performs well as long as appropriate missing data strategies are adopted based on the design of CRTs and the percentage of missing data. In contrast, RELR does not perform well when either standard or within-cluster MI strategy is applied prior to the analysis.

  14. A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial Testing the Effectiveness of Houvast: A Strengths-Based Intervention for Homeless Young Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krabbenborg, Manon A. M.; Boersma, Sandra N.; van der Veld, William M.; van Hulst, Bente; Vollebergh, Wilma A. M.; Wolf, Judith R. L. M.

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To test the effectiveness of Houvast: a strengths-based intervention for homeless young adults. Method: A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted with 10 Dutch shelter facilities randomly allocated to an intervention and a control group. Homeless young adults were interviewed when entering the facility and when care ended.…

  15. Can group-based reassuring information alter low back pain behavior? A cluster-randomized controlled trial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frederiksen, Pernille; Indahl, Aage; Andersen, Lars L

    2017-01-01

    -randomized controlled trial. METHODS: Publically employed workers (n = 505) from 11 Danish municipality centers were randomized at center-level (cluster) to either intervention (two 1-hour group-based talks at the workplace) or control. The talks provided reassuring information together with a simple non...

  16. A cluster randomized controlled trial testing the effectiveness of Houvast: A strengths-based intervention for homeless young adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krabbenborg, M.A.M.; Boersma, S.N.; Veld, W.M. van der; Hulst, B. van; Vollebergh, W.A.M.; Wolf, J.R.L.M.

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To test the effectiveness of Houvast: a strengths-based intervention for homeless young adults. Method: A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted with 10 Dutch shelter facilities randomly allocated to an intervention and a control group. Homeless young adults were interviewed

  17. A Cluster-Randomized Trial of Restorative Practices: An Illustration to Spur High-Quality Research and Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Joie D.; Chinman, Matthew; Ebener, Patricia; Phillips, Andrea; Xenakis, Lea; Malone, Patrick S.

    2016-01-01

    Restorative practices in schools lack rigorous evaluation studies. As an example of rigorous school-based research, this article describes the first randomized control trial of restorative practices to date, the Study of Restorative Practices. It is a 5-year, cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Restorative Practices Intervention (RPI)…

  18. Effects of Nurse-Led Multifactorial Care to Prevent Disability in Community-Living Older People : Cluster Randomized Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suijker, Jacqueline J.; van Rijn, Marjon; Buurman, Bianca M.; ter Riet, Gerben; van Charante, Eric P. Moll; de Rooij, Sophia E.

    2016-01-01

    Background To evaluate the effects of nurse-led multifactorial care to prevent disability in community-living older people. Methods In a cluster randomized trail, 11 practices (n = 1,209 participants) were randomized to the intervention group, and 13 practices (n = 1,074 participants) were

  19. Implementing school nursing strategies to reduce LGBTQ adolescent suicide: a randomized cluster trial study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willging, Cathleen E; Green, Amy E; Ramos, Mary M

    2016-10-22

    Reducing youth suicide in the United States (U.S.) is a national public health priority, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth are at elevated risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorses six evidence-based (EB) strategies that center on meeting the needs of LGBTQ youth in schools; however, fewer than 6 % of U.S. schools implement all of them. The proposed intervention model, "RLAS" (Implementing School Nursing Strategies to Reduce LGBTQ Adolescent Suicide), builds on the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment (EPIS) conceptual framework and the Dynamic Adaptation Process (DAP) to implement EB strategies in U.S. high schools. The DAP accounts for the multilevel context of school settings and uses Implementation Resource Teams (IRTs) to facilitate appropriate expertise, advise on acceptable adaptations, and provide data feedback to make schools implementation ready and prepared to sustain changes. Mixed methods will be used to examine individual, school, and community factors influencing both implementation process and youth outcomes. A cluster randomized controlled trial will assess whether LGBTQ students and their peers in RLAS intervention schools (n = 20) report reductions in suicidality, depression, substance use, bullying, and truancy related to safety concerns compared to those in usual care schools (n = 20). Implementation progress and fidelity for each EB strategy in RLAS intervention schools will be examined using a modified version of the Stages of Implementation Completion checklist. During the implementation and sustainment phases, annual focus groups will be conducted with the 20 IRTs to document their experiences identifying and advancing adaptation supports to facilitate use of EB strategies and their perceptions of the DAP. The DAP represents a data-informed, collaborative, multiple stakeholder approach to progress from exploration to sustainment and obtain

  20. Mobile phones improve antenatal care attendance in Zanzibar: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Applying mobile phones in healthcare is increasingly prioritized to strengthen healthcare systems. Antenatal care has the potential to reduce maternal morbidity and improve newborns’ survival but this benefit may not be realized in sub-Saharan Africa where the attendance and quality of care is declining. We evaluated the association between a mobile phone intervention and antenatal care in a resource-limited setting. We aimed to assess antenatal care in a comprehensive way taking into consideration utilisation of antenatal care as well as content and timing of interventions during pregnancy. Methods This study was an open label pragmatic cluster-randomised controlled trial with primary healthcare facilities in Zanzibar as the unit of randomisation. 2550 pregnant women (1311 interventions and 1239 controls) who attended antenatal care at selected primary healthcare facilities were included at their first antenatal care visit and followed until 42 days after delivery. 24 primary health care facilities in six districts were randomized to either mobile phone intervention or standard care. The intervention consisted of a mobile phone text-message and voucher component. Primary outcome measure was four or more antenatal care visits during pregnancy. Secondary outcome measures were tetanus vaccination, preventive treatment for malaria, gestational age at last antenatal care visit, and antepartum referral. Results The mobile phone intervention was associated with an increase in antenatal care attendance. In the intervention group 44% of the women received four or more antenatal care visits versus 31% in the control group (OR, 2.39; 95% CI, 1.03-5.55). There was a trend towards improved timing and quality of antenatal care services across all secondary outcome measures although not statistically significant. Conclusions The wired mothers’ mobile phone intervention significantly increased the proportion of women receiving the recommended four antenatal care

  1. Implementing school nursing strategies to reduce LGBTQ adolescent suicide: a randomized cluster trial study protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathleen E. Willging

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reducing youth suicide in the United States (U.S. is a national public health priority, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ youth are at elevated risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC endorses six evidence-based (EB strategies that center on meeting the needs of LGBTQ youth in schools; however, fewer than 6 % of U.S. schools implement all of them. The proposed intervention model, “RLAS” (Implementing School Nursing Strategies to Reduce LGBTQ Adolescent Suicide, builds on the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment (EPIS conceptual framework and the Dynamic Adaptation Process (DAP to implement EB strategies in U.S. high schools. The DAP accounts for the multilevel context of school settings and uses Implementation Resource Teams (IRTs to facilitate appropriate expertise, advise on acceptable adaptations, and provide data feedback to make schools implementation ready and prepared to sustain changes. Methods/Design Mixed methods will be used to examine individual, school, and community factors influencing both implementation process and youth outcomes. A cluster randomized controlled trial will assess whether LGBTQ students and their peers in RLAS intervention schools (n = 20 report reductions in suicidality, depression, substance use, bullying, and truancy related to safety concerns compared to those in usual care schools (n = 20. Implementation progress and fidelity for each EB strategy in RLAS intervention schools will be examined using a modified version of the Stages of Implementation Completion checklist. During the implementation and sustainment phases, annual focus groups will be conducted with the 20 IRTs to document their experiences identifying and advancing adaptation supports to facilitate use of EB strategies and their perceptions of the DAP. Discussion The DAP represents a data-informed, collaborative, multiple stakeholder

  2. A Coupled Hidden Conditional Random Field Model for Simultaneous Face Clustering and Naming in Videos

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Yifan

    2016-08-18

    For face naming in TV series or movies, a typical way is using subtitles/script alignment to get the time stamps of the names, and tagging them to the faces. We study the problem of face naming in videos when subtitles are not available. To this end, we divide the problem into two tasks: face clustering which groups the faces depicting a certain person into a cluster, and name assignment which associates a name to each face. Each task is formulated as a structured prediction problem and modeled by a hidden conditional random field (HCRF) model. We argue that the two tasks are correlated problems whose outputs can provide prior knowledge of the target prediction for each other. The two HCRFs are coupled in a unified graphical model called coupled HCRF where the joint dependence of the cluster labels and face name association is naturally embedded in the correlation between the two HCRFs. We provide an effective algorithm to optimize the two HCRFs iteratively and the performance of the two tasks on real-world data set can be both improved.

  3. Pressure ulcer multidisciplinary teams via telemedicine: a pragmatic cluster randomized stepped wedge trial in long term care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Anita; Mitsakakis, Nicholas; Paulden, Mike; Alibhai, Shabbir; Wong, Josephine; Tomlinson, George; Brooker, Ann-Sylvia; Krahn, Murray; Zwarenstein, Merrick

    2014-02-24

    The study was conducted to determine the clinical and cost effectiveness of enhanced multi-disciplinary teams (EMDTs) vs. 'usual care' for the treatment of pressure ulcers in long term care (LTC) facilities in Ontario, Canada We conducted a multi-method study: a pragmatic cluster randomized stepped-wedge trial, ethnographic observation and in-depth interviews, and an economic evaluation. Long term care facilities (clusters) were randomly allocated to start dates of the intervention. An advance practice nurse (APN) with expertise in skin and wound care visited intervention facilities to educate staff on pressure ulcer prevention and treatment, supported by an off-site hospital based expert multi-disciplinary wound care team via email, telephone, or video link as needed. The primary outcome was rate of reduction in pressure ulcer surface area (cm2/day) measured on before and after standard photographs by an assessor blinded to facility allocation. Secondary outcomes were time to healing, probability of healing, pressure ulcer incidence, pressure ulcer prevalence, wound pain, hospitalization, emergency department visits, utility, and cost. 12 of 15 eligible LTC facilities were randomly selected to participate and randomized to start date of the intervention following the stepped wedge design. 137 residents with a total of 259 pressure ulcers (stage 2 or greater) were recruited over the 17 month study period. No statistically significant differences were found between control and intervention periods on any of the primary or secondary outcomes. The economic evaluation demonstrated a mean reduction in direct care costs of $650 per resident compared to 'usual care'. The qualitative study suggested that onsite support by APN wound specialists was welcomed, and is responsible for reduced costs through discontinuation of expensive non evidence based treatments. Insufficient allocation of nursing home staff time to wound care may explain the lack of impact on healing

  4. Classification of Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Random Support Vector Machine Cluster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia-an Bi

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is mainly reflected in the communication and language barriers, difficulties in social communication, and it is a kind of neurological developmental disorder. Most researches have used the machine learning method to classify patients and normal controls, among which support vector machines (SVM are widely employed. But the classification accuracy of SVM is usually low, due to the usage of a single SVM as classifier. Thus, we used multiple SVMs to classify ASD patients and typical controls (TC. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data of 46 TC and 61 ASD patients were obtained from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE database. Only 84 of 107 subjects are utilized in experiments because the translation or rotation of 7 TC and 16 ASD patients has surpassed ±2 mm or ±2°. Then the random SVM cluster was proposed to distinguish TC and ASD. The results show that this method has an excellent classification performance based on all the features. Furthermore, the accuracy based on the optimal feature set could reach to 96.15%. Abnormal brain regions could also be found, such as inferior frontal gyrus (IFG (orbital and opercula part, hippocampus, and precuneus. It is indicated that the method of random SVM cluster may apply to the auxiliary diagnosis of ASD.

  5. Headache cessation by an educational intervention in grammar schools: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, L; Heinen, F; Landgraf, M; Straube, A; Blum, B; Filippopulos, F; Lehmann, S; Mansmann, U; Berger, U; Akboga, Y; von Kries, R

    2015-02-01

    Headache is a common health problem in adolescents. There are a number of risk factors for headache in adolescents that are amenable to intervention. The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of a low-level headache prevention programme in the classroom setting to prevent these risk factors. In all, 1674 students in 8th-10th grade at 12 grammar schools in greater Munich, Germany, were cluster randomized into intervention and control groups. A standardized 60-min prevention lesson focusing on preventable risk factors for headache (physical inactivity, coffee consumption, alcohol consumption and smoking) and providing instructions on stress management and neck and shoulder muscle relaxation exercises was given in a classroom setting. Seven months later, students were reassessed. The main outcome parameter was headache cessation. Logistic regression models with random effects for cluster and adjustment for baseline risk factors were calculated. Nine hundred students (intervention group N = 450, control group N = 450) with headache at baseline and complete data for headache and confounders were included in the analysis. Headache cessation was observed in 9.78% of the control group compared with 16.22% in the intervention group (number needed to treat = 16). Accounting for cluster effects and confounders, the probability of headache cessation in the intervention group was 1.77 (95% confidence interval = [1.08; 2.90]) higher than in the control group. The effect was most pronounced in adolescents with tension-type headache: odds ratio = 2.11 (95% confidence interval = [1.15; 3.80]). Our study demonstrates the effectiveness of a one-time, classroom-based headache prevention programme. © 2014 EAN.

  6. Engineering practice variation through provider agreement: a cluster-randomized feasibility trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarren, Madeline; Twedt, Elaine L; Mansuri, Faizmohamed M; Nelson, Philip R; Peek, Brian T

    2014-01-01

    Minimal-risk randomized trials that can be embedded in practice could facilitate learning health-care systems. A cluster-randomized design was proposed to compare treatment strategies by assigning clusters (eg, providers) to "favor" a particular drug, with providers retaining autonomy for specific patients. Patient informed consent might be waived, broadening inclusion. However, it is not known if providers will adhere to the assignment or whether institutional review boards will waive consent. We evaluated the feasibility of this trial design. Agreeable providers were randomized to "favor" either hydrochlorothiazide or chlorthalidone when starting patients on thiazide-type therapy for hypertension. The assignment applied when the provider had already decided to start a thiazide, and providers could deviate from the strategy as needed. Prescriptions were aggregated to produce a provider strategy-adherence rate. All four institutional review boards waived documentation of patient consent. Providers (n=18) followed their assigned strategy for most of their new thiazide prescriptions (n=138 patients). In the "favor hydrochlorothiazide" group, there was 99% adherence to that strategy. In the "favor chlorthalidone" group, chlorthalidone comprised 77% of new thiazide starts, up from 1% in the pre-study period. When the assigned strategy was followed, dosing in the recommended range was 48% for hydrochlorothiazide (25-50 mg/day) and 100% for chlorthalidone (12.5-25.0 mg/day). Providers were motivated to participate by a desire to contribute to a comparative effectiveness study. A study promotional mug, provider information letter, and interactions with the site investigator were identified as most helpful in reminding providers of their study drug strategy. Providers prescribed according to an assigned drug-choice strategy most of the time for the purpose of a comparative effectiveness study. This simple design could facilitate research participation and behavior change

  7. Clinical Characteristics of Exacerbation-Prone Adult Asthmatics Identified by Cluster Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Mi Ae; Shin, Seung Woo; Park, Jong Sook; Uh, Soo Taek; Chang, Hun Soo; Bae, Da Jeong; Cho, You Sook; Park, Hae Sim; Yoon, Ho Joo; Choi, Byoung Whui; Kim, Yong Hoon; Park, Choon Sik

    2017-11-01

    Asthma is a heterogeneous disease characterized by various types of airway inflammation and obstruction. Therefore, it is classified into several subphenotypes, such as early-onset atopic, obese non-eosinophilic, benign, and eosinophilic asthma, using cluster analysis. A number of asthmatics frequently experience exacerbation over a long-term follow-up period, but the exacerbation-prone subphenotype has rarely been evaluated by cluster analysis. This prompted us to identify clusters reflecting asthma exacerbation. A uniform cluster analysis method was applied to 259 adult asthmatics who were regularly followed-up for over 1 year using 12 variables, selected on the basis of their contribution to asthma phenotypes. After clustering, clinical profiles and exacerbation rates during follow-up were compared among the clusters. Four subphenotypes were identified: cluster 1 was comprised of patients with early-onset atopic asthma with preserved lung function, cluster 2 late-onset non-atopic asthma with impaired lung function, cluster 3 early-onset atopic asthma with severely impaired lung function, and cluster 4 late-onset non-atopic asthma with well-preserved lung function. The patients in clusters 2 and 3 were identified as exacerbation-prone asthmatics, showing a higher risk of asthma exacerbation. Two different phenotypes of exacerbation-prone asthma were identified among Korean asthmatics using cluster analysis; both were characterized by impaired lung function, but the age at asthma onset and atopic status were different between the two. Copyright © 2017 The Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology · The Korean Academy of Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Disease

  8. Clustering, randomness, and regularity in cloud fields: 2. Cumulus cloud fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, T.; Lee, J.; Weger, R. C.; Welch, R. M.

    1992-12-01

    During the last decade a major controversy has been brewing concerning the proper characterization of cumulus convection. The prevailing view has been that cumulus clouds form in clusters, in which cloud spacing is closer than that found for the overall cloud field and which maintains its identity over many cloud lifetimes. This "mutual protection hypothesis" of Randall and Huffman (1980) has been challenged by the "inhibition hypothesis" of Ramirez et al. (1990) which strongly suggests that the spatial distribution of cumuli must tend toward a regular distribution. A dilemma has resulted because observations have been reported to support both hypotheses. The present work reports a detailed analysis of cumulus cloud field spatial distributions based upon Landsat, Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer, and Skylab data. Both nearest-neighbor and point-to-cloud cumulative distribution function statistics are investigated. The results show unequivocally that when both large and small clouds are included in the cloud field distribution, the cloud field always has a strong clustering signal. The strength of clustering is largest at cloud diameters of about 200-300 m, diminishing with increasing cloud diameter. In many cases, clusters of small clouds are found which are not closely associated with large clouds. As the small clouds are eliminated from consideration, the cloud field typically tends towards regularity. Thus it would appear that the "inhibition hypothesis" of Ramirez and Bras (1990) has been verified for the large clouds. However, these results are based upon the analysis of point processes. A more exact analysis also is made which takes into account the cloud size distributions. Since distinct clouds are by definition nonoverlapping, cloud size effects place a restriction upon the possible locations of clouds in the cloud field. The net effect of this analysis is that the large clouds appear to be randomly distributed, with only weak tendencies towards

  9. Cluster headache - clinical pattern and a new severity scale in a Swedish cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Anna; Fourier, Carmen; Ran, Caroline; Waldenlind, Elisabet; Sjöstrand, Christina; Belin, Andrea Carmine

    2018-06-01

    Background The aim of this study was to investigate clinical features of a cluster headache cohort in Sweden and to construct and test a new scale for grading severity. Methods Subjects were identified by screening medical records for the ICD 10 code G44.0, that is, cluster headache. Five hundred participating research subjects filled in a questionnaire including personal, demographic and medical aspects. We constructed a novel scale for grading cluster headache in this cohort: The Cluster Headache Severity Scale, which included number of attacks per day, attack and period duration. The lowest total score was three and the highest 12, and we used the Cluster Headache Severity Scale to grade subjects suffering from cluster headache. We further implemented the scale by defining a cluster headache maximum severity subgroup with a high Cluster Headache Severity Scale score ≥ 9. Results A majority (66.7%) of the patients reported that attacks appear at certain time intervals. In addition, cluster headache patients who were current tobacco users or had a history of tobacco consumption had a later age of disease onset (31.7 years) compared to non-tobacco users (28.5 years). The Cluster Headache Severity Scale score was higher in the patient group reporting sporadic or no alcohol intake than in the groups reporting an alcohol consumption of three to four standard units per week or more. Maximum severity cluster headache patients were characterised by higher age at disease onset, greater use of prophylactic medication, reduced hours of sleep, and lower alcohol consumption compared to the non-cluster headache maximum severity group. Conclusion There was a wide variation of severity grade among cluster headache patients, with a very marked impact on daily living for the most profoundly affected.

  10. Specialist mental health consultation for depression in Australian aged care residents with dementia: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McSweeney, Kate; Jeffreys, Aimee; Griffith, Joanne; Plakiotis, Chris; Kharsas, Renee; O'Connor, Daniel W

    2012-11-01

    This cluster randomized controlled trial sought to determine whether multidisciplinary specialist mental health consultation was more effective than care as usual in treating the depression of aged care residents with dementia. Three hundred and eighty nine aged care residents were screened for dementia and major depression. Forty four were ultimately included in the intervention sample, selected from 20 aged care facilities located in Melbourne, Australia. Facilities were randomly allocated to an intervention condition involving the provision of multidisciplinary specialist consultation regarding the best-practice management of depression in dementia, or to a care as usual condition. Consultations involved individually tailored medical and psychosocial recommendations provided to care staff and general practitioners. All residents participated in a comprehensive pre-intervention diagnostic assessment, including the administration of the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia. This assessment was repeated approximately 15 weeks post-intervention by a rater blind to study condition. Multidisciplinary specialist mental health consultation was significantly more effective than care as usual in treating the clinical depression of aged care residents with dementia (p Depression in Dementia score for the intervention group was 9.47, compared with 14.23 for the control group. In addition, 77% of the intervention group no longer met criteria for major depression. The results of this study suggest that the psychosocial and medical management of depressed aged care residents can be improved by increasing access to specialist mental health consultation. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Control of Phlebotomus argentipes (Diptera: Psychodidae sand fly in Bangladesh: A cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajib Chowdhury

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available A number of studies on visceral leishmaniasis (VL vector control have been conducted during the past decade, sometimes came to very different conclusion. The present study on a large sample investigated different options which are partially unexplored including: (1 indoor residual spraying (IRS with alpha cypermethrin 5WP; (2 long lasting insecticide impregnated bed-net (LLIN; (3 impregnation of local bed-nets with slow release insecticide K-O TAB 1-2-3 (KOTAB; (4 insecticide spraying in potential breeding sites outside of house using chlorpyrifos 20EC (OUT and different combinations of the above.The study was a cluster randomized controlled trial where 3089 houses from 11 villages were divided into 10 sections, each section with 6 clusters and each cluster having approximately 50 houses. Based on vector density (males plus females during baseline survey, the 60 clusters were categorized into 3 groups: (1 high, (2 medium and (3 low. Each group had 20 clusters. From these three groups, 6 clusters (about 300 households were randomly selected for each type of intervention and control arms. Vector density was measured before and 2, 4, 5, 7, 11, 14, 15, 18 and 22 months after intervention using CDC light traps. The impact of interventions was measured by using the difference-in-differences regression model.A total of 17,434 sand flies were collected at baseline and during the surveys conducted over 9 months following the baseline measurements. At baseline, the average P. argentipes density per household was 10.6 (SD = 11.5 in the control arm and 7.3 (SD = 8.46 to 11.5 (SD = 20.2 in intervention arms. The intervention results presented as the range of percent reductions of sand flies (males plus females and rate ratios in 9 measurements over 22 months. Among single type interventions, the effect of IRS with 2 rounds of spraying (applied by the research team ranged from 13% to 75% reduction of P. argentipes density compared to the control arm (rate

  12. Design and protocol of the weight loss lottery- a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Swaluw, Koen; Lambooij, Mattijs S; Mathijssen, Jolanda J P; Schipper, Maarten; Zeelenberg, Marcel; Polder, Johan J; Prast, Henriëtte M

    2016-07-01

    People often intend to exercise but find it difficult to attend their gyms on a regular basis. At times, people seek and accept deadlines with consequences to realize their own goals (i.e. commitment devices). The aim of our cluster randomized controlled trial is to test whether a lottery-based commitment device can promote regular gym attendance. The winners of the lottery always get feedback on the outcome but can only claim their prize if they attended their gyms on a regular basis. In this paper we present the design and baseline characteristics of a three-arm trial which is performed with 163 overweight participants in six in-company fitness centers in the Netherlands. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Nonlinear random resistor diode networks and fractal dimensions of directed percolation clusters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenull, O; Janssen, H K

    2001-07-01

    We study nonlinear random resistor diode networks at the transition from the nonpercolating to the directed percolating phase. The resistor-like bonds and the diode-like bonds under forward bias voltage obey a generalized Ohm's law V approximately I(r). Based on general grounds such as symmetries and relevance we develop a field theoretic model. We focus on the average two-port resistance, which is governed at the transition by the resistance exponent straight phi(r). By employing renormalization group methods we calculate straight phi(r) for arbitrary r to one-loop order. Then we address the fractal dimensions characterizing directed percolation clusters. Via considering distinct values of the nonlinearity r, we determine the dimension of the red bonds, the chemical path, and the backbone to two-loop order.

  14. Cardiorespiratory fitness, cardiovascular workload and risk factors among cleaners; a cluster randomized worksite intervention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korshøj, Mette; Krustrup, Peter; Jørgensen, Marie Birk

    2012-01-01

    . The clusters will be balanced on the following criteria: Geographical work location, gender, age and seniority. Cleaners are randomized to either I) a reference group, receiving lectures concerning healthy living, or II) an intervention group, performing worksite aerobic exercise. Data collection......ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors is unevenly distributed among occupational groups. The working environment, as well as lifestyle and socioeconomic status contribute to the disparity and variation in prevalence of these risk factors. High physical work demands have...... been shown to increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality, contrary to leisure time physical activity. High physical work demands in combination with a low cardiorespiratory fitness infer a high relative workload and an excessive risk for cardiovascular mortality. Therefore, the aim...

  15. Community-wide intervention and population-level physical activity: a 5-year cluster randomized trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamada, Masamitsu; Kitayuguchi, Jun; Abe, Takafumi; Taguri, Masataka; Inoue, Shigeru; Ishikawa, Yoshiki; Bauman, Adrian; Lee, I-Min; Miyachi, Motohiko; Kawachi, Ichiro

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background Evidence from a limited number of short-term trials indicates the difficulty in achieving population-level improvements in physical activity (PA) through community-wide interventions (CWIs). We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a 5-year CWI for promoting PA in middle-aged and older adults using a cluster randomized design. Methods We randomized 12 communities in Unnan, Japan, to either intervention (9) or control (3). Additionally, intervention communities were randomly allocated to three subgroups by different PA types promoted. Randomly sampled residents aged 40–79 years responded to the baseline survey (n = 4414; 74%) and were followed at 1, 3 and 5 years (78–83% response rate). The intervention was a 5-year CWI using social marketing to promote PA. The primary outcome was a change in recommended levels of PA. Results Compared with control communities, adults achieving recommended levels of PA increased in intervention communities [adjusted change difference = 4.6 percentage points (95% confidence interval: 0.4, 8.8)]. The intervention was effective for promoting all types of recommended PAs, i.e. aerobic (walking, 6.4%), flexibility (6.1%) and muscle-strengthening activities (5.7%). However, a bundled approach, which attempted to promote all forms of PAs above simultaneously, was not effective (1.3–3.4%, P ≥ 0.138). Linear dose–response relationships between the CWI awareness and changes in PA were observed (P ≤ 0.02). Pain intensity decreased in shoulder (intervention and control) and lower back (intervention only) but there was little change difference in all musculoskeletal pain outcomes between the groups. Conclusions The 5-year CWI using the focused social marketing strategy increased the population-level of PA. PMID:29228255

  16. Sample size adjustments for varying cluster sizes in cluster randomized trials with binary outcomes analyzed with second-order PQL mixed logistic regression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candel, Math J J M; Van Breukelen, Gerard J P

    2010-06-30

    Adjustments of sample size formulas are given for varying cluster sizes in cluster randomized trials with a binary outcome when testing the treatment effect with mixed effects logistic regression using second-order penalized quasi-likelihood estimation (PQL). Starting from first-order marginal quasi-likelihood (MQL) estimation of the treatment effect, the asymptotic relative efficiency of unequal versus equal cluster sizes is derived. A Monte Carlo simulation study shows this asymptotic relative efficiency to be rather accurate for realistic sample sizes, when employing second-order PQL. An approximate, simpler formula is presented to estimate the efficiency loss due to varying cluster sizes when planning a trial. In many cases sampling 14 per cent more clusters is sufficient to repair the efficiency loss due to varying cluster sizes. Since current closed-form formulas for sample size calculation are based on first-order MQL, planning a trial also requires a conversion factor to obtain the variance of the second-order PQL estimator. In a second Monte Carlo study, this conversion factor turned out to be 1.25 at most. (c) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Financial management of a large multisite randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheffet, Alice J; Flaxman, Linda; Tom, MeeLee; Hughes, Susan E; Longbottom, Mary E; Howard, Virginia J; Marler, John R; Brott, Thomas G

    2014-08-01

    The Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial (CREST) received five years' funding ($21 112 866) from the National Institutes of Health to compare carotid stenting to surgery for stroke prevention in 2500 randomized participants at 40 sites. Herein we evaluate the change in the CREST budget from a fixed to variable-cost model and recommend strategies for the financial management of large-scale clinical trials. Projections of the original grant's fixed-cost model were compared to the actual costs of the revised variable-cost model. The original grant's fixed-cost budget included salaries, fringe benefits, and other direct and indirect costs. For the variable-cost model, the costs were actual payments to the clinical sites and core centers based upon actual trial enrollment. We compared annual direct and indirect costs and per-patient cost for both the fixed and variable models. Differences between clinical site and core center expenditures were also calculated. Using a variable-cost budget for clinical sites, funding was extended by no-cost extension from five to eight years. Randomizing sites tripled from 34 to 109. Of the 2500 targeted sample size, 138 (5·5%) were randomized during the first five years and 1387 (55·5%) during the no-cost extension. The actual per-patient costs of the variable model were 9% ($13 845) of the projected per-patient costs ($152 992) of the fixed model. Performance-based budgets conserve funding, promote compliance, and allow for additional sites at modest additional cost. Costs of large-scale clinical trials can thus be reduced through effective management without compromising scientific integrity. © 2014 The Authors. International Journal of Stroke © 2014 World Stroke Organization.

  18. Infrared Extinction Performance of Randomly Oriented Microbial-Clustered Agglomerate Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Le; Hu, Yihua; Gu, Youlin; Zhao, Xinying; Xu, Shilong; Yu, Lei; Zheng, Zhi Ming; Wang, Peng

    2017-11-01

    In this study, the spatial structure of randomly distributed clusters of fungi An0429 spores was simulated using a cluster aggregation (CCA) model, and the single scattering parameters of fungi An0429 spores were calculated using the discrete dipole approximation (DDA) method. The transmittance of 10.6 µm infrared (IR) light in the aggregated fungi An0429 spores swarm is simulated by using the Monte Carlo method. Several parameters that affect the transmittance of 10.6 µm IR light, such as the number and radius of original fungi An0429 spores, porosity of aggregated fungi An0429 spores, and density of aggregated fungi An0429 spores of the formation aerosol area were discussed. Finally, the transmittances of microbial materials with different qualities were measured in the dynamic test platform. The simulation results showed that the parameters analyzed were closely connected with the extinction performance of fungi An0429 spores. By controlling the value of the influencing factors, the transmittance could be lower than a certain threshold to meet the requirement of attenuation in application. In addition, the experimental results showed that the Monte Carlo method could well reflect the attenuation law of IR light in fungi An0429 spore agglomerates swarms.

  19. Cluster-randomized xylitol toothpaste trial for early childhood caries prevention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Donald L.; Tut, Ohnmar K.; Milgrom, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Purpose We assessed the efficacy of supervised toothbrushing with xylitol toothpaste to prevent early childhood caries (ECC) and to reduce mutans streptococci (MS). Methods In this cluster-randomized efficacy trial, 4 Head Start classrooms in the Marshall Islands were randomly assigned to supervised toothbrushing with 1,400ppm/31% fluoride-xylitol (Epic Dental, Provo, UT) or 1,450ppm fluoride-sorbitol toothpaste (Colgate-Palmolive, New York, NY) (N=196 children, ages 4–5 yrs). We hypothesized no difference in efficacy between the two types of toothpaste. The primary outcome was primary molar d2-3mfs increment after 6 mos. A single examiner was blinded to classroom assignments. Two classrooms were assigned to the fluoride-xylitol group (85 children) and 2 classrooms to the fluoride-sorbitol group (83 children). The child-level analyses accounted for clustering. Results There was no difference between the two groups in baseline or end-of-trial mean d2-3mfs. The mean d2-3mfs increment was greater in the fluoride-xylitol group compared to the fluoride-sorbitol group (2.5 and 1.4 d2-3mfs, respectively), but the difference was not significant (95% CI:−0.17, 2.37;P=0.07). No adverse effects were reported. Conclusion After 6 mos, brushing with a low strength xylitol/fluoride toothpaste is no more efficacious in reducing ECC than a fluoride only toothpaste in a high caries risk child population. PMID:24709430

  20. Cluster-randomized xylitol toothpaste trial for early childhood caries prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Donald L; Tut, Ohnmar; Milgrom, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of supervised tooth-brushing with xylitol toothpaste to prevent early childhood caries (ECC) and reduce mutans streptococci. In this cluster-randomized efficacy trial, 196 four- to five-year-old children in four Head Start classrooms in the Marshall Islands were randomly assigned to supervised toothbrushing with 1,400 ppm/31 percent fluoride xylitol or 1,450 ppm fluoride sorbitol toothpaste. We hypothesized that there would be no difference in efficacy between the two types of toothpaste. The primary outcome was the surface-level primary molar caries increment (d(2-3)mfs) after six months. A single examiner was blinded to classroom assignments. Two classrooms were assigned to the fluoride-xylitol group (85 children), and two classrooms were assigned to the fluoride-sorbitol group (83 children). The child-level analyses accounted for clustering. There was no difference between the two groups in baseline or end-of-trial mean d(2-3)mfs. The mean d(2-3)mfs increment was greater in the fluoride-xylitol group compared to the fluoride-sorbitol group (2.5 and 1.4 d(2-3)mfs, respectively), but the difference was not significant (95% confidence interval: -0.17, 2.37; P=.07). No adverse effects were reported. After six months, brushing with a low-strength xylitol/fluoride tooth-paste is no more efficacious in reducing ECC than a fluoride-only toothpaste in a high caries-risk child population.

  1. Walking Away from Type 2 diabetes: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, T; Edwardson, C L; Henson, J; Gray, L J; Ashra, N B; Troughton, J; Khunti, K; Davies, M J

    2017-05-01

    This study aimed to investigate whether an established behavioural intervention, Walking Away from Type 2 Diabetes, is effective at promoting and sustaining increased walking activity when delivered within primary care. Cluster randomized controlled trial involving 10 general practices recruited from Leicestershire, UK, in 2009-2010. Eight hundred and eight (36% female) individuals with a high risk of Type 2 diabetes mellitus, identified through a validated risk score, were included. Participants in five practices were randomized to Walking Away from Type 2 Diabetes, a pragmatic 3-h group-based structured education programme incorporating pedometer use with annual follow-on refresher sessions. The primary outcome was accelerometer assessed ambulatory activity (steps/day) at 12 months. Longer term maintenance was assessed at 24 and 36 months. Results were analysed using generalized estimating equation models, accounting for clustering. Complete accelerometer data for the primary outcome were available for 571 (71%) participants. Increases in ambulatory activity of 411 steps/day [95% confidence interval (CI): 117, 704] and self-reported vigorous-intensity physical activity of 218 metabolic equivalent min/week (95% CI: 6, 425) at 12 months were observed in the intervention group compared with control; differences between groups were not sustained at 36 months. No differences between groups were observed for markers of cardiometabolic health. Replacing missing data with multiple imputation did not affect the results. A pragmatic low-resource group-based structured education programme with pedometer use resulted in modest increases in ambulatory activity compared with control conditions after 12 months when implemented within a primary care setting to those at high risk of Type 2 diabetes mellitus; however, the results were not maintained over 36 months. © 2016 Diabetes UK.

  2. Does mass azithromycin distribution impact child growth and nutrition in Niger? A cluster-randomized trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdou Amza

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Antibiotic use on animals demonstrates improved growth regardless of whether or not there is clinical evidence of infectious disease. Antibiotics used for trachoma control may play an unintended benefit of improving child growth.In this sub-study of a larger randomized controlled trial, we assess anthropometry of pre-school children in a community-randomized trial of mass oral azithromycin distributions for trachoma in Niger. We measured height, weight, and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC in 12 communities randomized to receive annual mass azithromycin treatment of everyone versus 12 communities randomized to receive biannual mass azithromycin treatments for children, 3 years after the initial mass treatment. We collected measurements in 1,034 children aged 6-60 months of age.We found no difference in the prevalence of wasting among children in the 12 annually treated communities that received three mass azithromycin distributions compared to the 12 biannually treated communities that received six mass azithromycin distributions (odds ratio = 0.88, 95% confidence interval = 0.53 to 1.49.We were unable to demonstrate a statistically significant difference in stunting, underweight, and low MUAC of pre-school children in communities randomized to annual mass azithromycin treatment or biannual mass azithromycin treatment. The role of antibiotics on child growth and nutrition remains unclear, but larger studies and longitudinal trials may help determine any association.

  3. clusters

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2017-09-27

    Sep 27, 2017 ... Author for correspondence (zh4403701@126.com). MS received 15 ... lic clusters using density functional theory (DFT)-GGA of the DMOL3 package. ... In the process of geometric optimization, con- vergence thresholds ..... and Postgraduate Research & Practice Innovation Program of. Jiangsu Province ...

  4. clusters

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    environmental as well as technical problems during fuel gas utilization. ... adsorption on some alloys of Pd, namely PdAu, PdAg ... ried out on small neutral and charged Au24,26,27, Cu,28 ... study of Zanti et al.29 on Pdn (n = 1–9) clusters.

  5. A cluster randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of peer mentors to support South African women living with HIV and their infants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus

    Full Text Available We evaluate the effect of clinic-based support by HIV-positive Peer Mentors, in addition to standard clinic care, on maternal and infant well-being among Women Living with HIV (WLH from pregnancy through the infant's first year of life.In a cluster randomized controlled trial in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, eight clinics were randomized for pregnant WLH to receive either: a Standard Care condition (SC; 4 clinics; n = 656 WLH; or an Enhanced Intervention (EI; 4 clinics; n = 544 WLH. WLH in the EI were invited to attend four antenatal and four postnatal meetings led by HIV-positive Peer Mentors, in addition to SC. WLH were recruited during pregnancy, and at least two post-birth assessment interviews were completed by 57% of WLH at 1.5, 6 or 12 months. EI's effect was ascertained on 19 measures of maternal and infant well-being using random effects regressions to control for clinic clustering. A binomial test for correlated outcomes evaluated EI's overall efficacy.WLH attended an average of 4.1 sessions (SD = 2.0; 13% did not attend any sessions. Significant overall benefits were found in EI compared to SC using the binomial test. Secondarily, over time, WLH in the EI reported significantly fewer depressive symptoms and fewer underweight infants than WLH in the SC condition. EI WLH were significantly more likely to use one feeding method for six months and exclusively breastfeed their infants for at least 6 months.WLH benefit by support from HIV-positive Peer Mentors, even though EI participation was partial, with incomplete follow-up rates from 6-12 months.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00972699.

  6. The Diabetes Telephone Study: Design and challenges of a pragmatic cluster randomized trial to improve diabetic peripheral neuropathy treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Alyce S; Bayliss, Elizabeth A; Schmittdiel, Julie A; Altschuler, Andrea; Dyer, Wendy; Neugebauer, Romain; Jaffe, Marc; Young, Joseph D; Kim, Eileen; Grant, Richard W

    2016-06-01

    Challenges to effective pharmacologic management of symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy include the limited effectiveness of available medicines, frequent side effects, and the need for ongoing symptom assessment and treatment titration for maximal effectiveness. We present here the rationale and implementation challenges of the Diabetes Telephone Study, a randomized trial designed to improve medication treatment, titration, and quality of life among patients with symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy. We implemented a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of an automated interactive voice response tool designed to provide physicians with real-time patient-reported data about responses to newly prescribed diabetic peripheral neuropathy medicines. A total of 1834 primary care physicians treating patients in the diabetes registry at Kaiser Permanente Northern California were randomized into the intervention or control arm. In September 2014, we began identification and recruitment of patients assigned to physicians in the intervention group who receive three brief interactive calls every 2 months after a medication is prescribed to alleviate diabetic peripheral neuropathy symptoms. These calls provide patients with the opportunity to report on symptoms, side effects, self-titration of medication dose and overall satisfaction with treatment. We plan to compare changes in self-reported quality of life between the intervention group and patients in the control group who receive three non-interactive automated educational phone calls. Successful implementation of this clinical trial required robust stakeholder engagement to help tailor the intervention and to address pragmatic concerns such as provider time constraints. As of 27 October 2015, we had screened 2078 patients, 1447 of whom were eligible for participation. We consented and enrolled 1206 or 83% of those eligible. Among those enrolled, 53% are women and the mean age

  7. Targeting Prodromal Alzheimer Disease With Avagacestat: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coric, Vladimir; Salloway, Stephen; van Dyck, Christopher H; Dubois, Bruno; Andreasen, Niels; Brody, Mark; Curtis, Craig; Soininen, Hilkka; Thein, Stephen; Shiovitz, Thomas; Pilcher, Gary; Ferris, Steven; Colby, Susan; Kerselaers, Wendy; Dockens, Randy; Soares, Holly; Kaplita, Stephen; Luo, Feng; Pachai, Chahin; Bracoud, Luc; Mintun, Mark; Grill, Joshua D; Marek, Ken; Seibyl, John; Cedarbaum, Jesse M; Albright, Charles; Feldman, Howard H; Berman, Robert M

    2015-11-01

    Early identification of Alzheimer disease (AD) is important for clinical management and affords the opportunity to assess potential disease-modifying agents in clinical trials. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a randomized trial to prospectively enrich a study population with prodromal AD (PDAD) defined by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker criteria and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) symptoms. To assess the safety of the γ-secretase inhibitor avagacestat in PDAD and to determine whether CSF biomarkers can identify this patient population prior to clinical diagnosis of dementia. A randomized, placebo-controlled phase 2 clinical trial with a parallel, untreated, nonrandomized observational cohort of CSF biomarker-negative participants was conducted May 26, 2009, to July 9, 2013, in a multicenter global population. Of 1358 outpatients screened, 263 met MCI and CSF biomarker criteria for randomization into the treatment phase. One hundred two observational cohort participants who met MCI criteria but were CSF biomarker-negative were observed during the same study period to evaluate biomarker assay sensitivity. Oral avagacestat or placebo daily. Safety and tolerability of avagacestat. Of the 263 participants in the treatment phase, 132 were randomized to avagacestat and 131 to placebo; an additional 102 participants were observed in an untreated observational cohort. Avagacestat was relatively well tolerated with low discontinuation rates (19.6%) at a dose of 50 mg/d, whereas the dose of 125 mg/d had higher discontinuation rates (43%), primarily attributable to gastrointestinal tract adverse events. Increases in nonmelanoma skin cancer and nonprogressive, reversible renal tubule effects were observed with avagacestat. Serious adverse event rates were higher with avagacestat (49 participants [37.1%]) vs placebo (31 [23.7%]), attributable to the higher incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer. At 2 years, progression to dementia was more frequent in the PDAD

  8. Increasing students' physical activity during school physical education: rationale and protocol for the SELF-FIT cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Amy S; Lonsdale, Chris; Lubans, David R; Ng, Johan Y Y

    2017-07-11

    The Self-determined Exercise and Learning For FITness (SELF-FIT) is a multi-component school-based intervention based on tenets of self-determination theory. SELF-FIT aims to increase students' moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during physical education lessons, and enhance their autonomous motivation towards fitness activities. Using a cluster randomized controlled trial, we aim to examine the effects of the intervention on students' MVPA during school physical education. Secondary 2 students (approximately aged 14 years) from 26 classes in 26 different schools will be recruited. After baseline assessments, students will be randomized into either the experimental group or wait-list control group using a matched-pair randomization. Teachers allocated to the experimental group will attend two half-day workshops and deliver the SELF-FIT intervention for 8 weeks. The main intervention components include training teachers to teach in more need supportive ways, and conducting fitness exercises using a fitness dice with interchangeable faces. Other motivational components, such as playing music during classes, are also included. The primary outcome of the trial is students' MVPA during PE lessons. Secondary outcomes include students' leisure-time MVPA, perceived need support from teachers, need satisfaction, autonomous motivation towards physical education, intention to engage in physical activity, psychological well-being, and health-related fitness (cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness). Quantitative data will be analyzed using multilevel modeling approaches. Focus group interviews will also be conducted to assess students' perceptions of the intervention. The SELF-FIT intervention has been designed to improve students' health and well-being by using high-intensity activities in classes delivered by teachers who have been trained to be autonomy needs supportive. If successful, scalable interventions based on SELF-FIT could be applied in physical

  9. Culturally adaptive storytelling intervention versus didactic intervention to improve hypertension control in Vietnam: a cluster-randomized controlled feasibility trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hoa L; Allison, Jeroan J; Ha, Duc A; Chiriboga, Germán; Ly, Ha N; Tran, Hanh T; Nguyen, Cuong K; Dang, Diem M; Phan, Ngoc T; Vu, Nguyen C; Nguyen, Quang P; Goldberg, Robert J

    2017-01-01

    Vietnam is experiencing an epidemiologic transition with an increased prevalence of non-communicable diseases. Novel, large-scale, effective, and sustainable interventions to control hypertension in Vietnam are needed. We report the results of a cluster-randomized feasibility trial at 3 months follow-up conducted in Hung Yen province, Vietnam, designed to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of two community-based interventions to improve hypertension control: a "storytelling" intervention, "We Talk about Our Hypertension," and a didactic intervention. The storytelling intervention included stories about strategies for coping with hypertension, with patients speaking in their own words, and didactic content about the importance of healthy lifestyle behaviors including salt reduction and exercise. The didactic intervention included only didactic content. The storytelling intervention was delivered by two DVDs at 3-month intervals; the didactic intervention included only one installment. The trial was conducted in four communes, equally randomized to the two interventions. The mean age of the 160 study patients was 66 years, and 54% were men. Most participants described both interventions as understandable, informative, and motivational. Between baseline and 3 months, mean systolic blood pressure declined by 8.2 mmHg (95% CI 4.1-12.2) in the storytelling group and by 5.5 mmHg (95% CI 1.4-9.5) in the didactic group. The storytelling group also reported a significant increase in hypertension medication adherence. Both interventions were well accepted in several rural communities and were shown to be potentially effective in lowering blood pressure. A large-scale randomized trial is needed to compare the effectiveness of the two interventions in controlling hypertension. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02483780.

  10. A Clustered Randomized Controlled Trial of the Positive Prevention PLUS Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaChausse, Robert G

    2016-09-01

    To determine the impact of Positive Prevention PLUS, a school-based adolescent pregnancy prevention program on delaying sexual intercourse, birth control use, and pregnancy. I randomly assigned a diverse sample of ninth grade students in 21 suburban public high schools in California into treatment (n = 2483) and control (n = 1784) groups that participated in a clustered randomized controlled trial. Between October 2013 and May 2014, participants completed baseline and 6-month follow-up surveys regarding sexual behavior and pregnancy. Participants in the treatment group were offered Positive Prevention PLUS, an 11-lesson adolescent pregnancy prevention program. The program had statistically significant impacts on delaying sexual intercourse and increasing the use of birth control. However, I detected no program effect on pregnancy rates at 6-month follow-up. The Positive Prevention PLUS program demonstrated positive impacts on adolescent sexual behavior. This suggests that programs that focus on having students practice risk reduction skills may delay sexual activity and increase birth control use.

  11. Effectiveness of a motivational intervention on overweight/obese patients in the primary healthcare: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Cristobal, Juan Jose; Alonso-Villaverde, Carlos; Panisello, Jose Ma; Travé-Mercade, Pere; Rodriguez-Cortés, Francisca; Marsal, Josep Ramon; Peña, Esther

    2017-06-20

    Overweight and obesity are common health problems which increase the risk of developing several serious health conditions. The main difficulty in the management of weight-loss lies in its maintenance, once it is achieved. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a motivational intervention, together with current clinical practice, was more efficient than a traditional intervention, in the treatment of overweight and obesity and whether this intervention reduces cardiovascular risk factors associated with overweight and obesity. Multi-centre cluster randomized trial with a 24-month follow-up included 864 overweight/obese patients randomly assigned. Motivational intervention group (400 patients), delivered by a nurse trained by an expert psychologist, in 32 sessions, 1 to 12 fortnightly, and 13 to 32, monthly, on top of their standard programmed diet and exercise. The control group (446 patients), received the usual follow-up. Weight reduction was statistically significant in the second year with a mean reduction of 1.0 Kg in the control group and 2.5 Kg in the intervention group (p = 0. 02). While 18.1% of patients in the control group reduced their weight by more than 5%, this percentage rose to 26.9% in the intervention group, which is statistically significant (p = 0.04). Patients in the motivational intervention group had significantly greater improvements in triglycerides and APOB/APOA1ratio. The results highlight the importance of the group motivational interview in the treatment of overweight /obese patients in primary care, and in the improvement of their associated cardiovascular risks factors. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01006213 October 30, 2009.

  12. Ethical and policy issues in cluster randomized trials: rationale and design of a mixed methods research study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chaudhry Shazia H

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cluster randomized trials are an increasingly important methodological tool in health research. In cluster randomized trials, intact social units or groups of individuals, such as medical practices, schools, or entire communities – rather than individual themselves – are randomly allocated to intervention or control conditions, while outcomes are then observed on individual cluster members. The substantial methodological differences between cluster randomized trials and conventional randomized trials pose serious challenges to the current conceptual framework for research ethics. The ethical implications of randomizing groups rather than individuals are not addressed in current research ethics guidelines, nor have they even been thoroughly explored. The main objectives of this research are to: (1 identify ethical issues arising in cluster trials and learn how they are currently being addressed; (2 understand how ethics reviews of cluster trials are carried out in different countries (Canada, the USA and the UK; (3 elicit the views and experiences of trial participants and cluster representatives; (4 develop well-grounded guidelines for the ethical conduct and review of cluster trials by conducting an extensive ethical analysis and organizing a consensus process; (5 disseminate the guidelines to researchers, research ethics boards (REBs, journal editors, and research funders. Methods We will use a mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative approach incorporating both empirical and conceptual work. Empirical work will include a systematic review of a random sample of published trials, a survey and in-depth interviews with trialists, a survey of REBs, and in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with trial participants and gatekeepers. The empirical work will inform the concurrent ethical analysis which will lead to a guidance document laying out principles, policy options, and rationale for proposed guidelines. An

  13. Testing a workplace physical activity intervention: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEachan, Rosemary R C; Lawton, Rebecca J; Jackson, Cath; Conner, Mark; Meads, David M; West, Robert M

    2011-04-11

    Increased physical activity levels benefit both an individuals' health and productivity at work. The purpose of the current study was to explore the impact and cost-effectiveness of a workplace physical activity intervention designed to increase physical activity levels. A total of 1260 participants from 44 UK worksites (based within 5 organizations) were recruited to a cluster randomized controlled trial with worksites randomly allocated to an intervention or control condition. Measurement of physical activity and other variables occurred at baseline, and at 0 months, 3 months and 9 months post-intervention. Health outcomes were measured during a 30 minute health check conducted in worksites at baseline and 9 months post intervention. The intervention consisted of a 3 month tool-kit of activities targeting components of the Theory of Planned Behavior, delivered in-house by nominated facilitators. Self-reported physical activity (measured using the IPAQ short-form) and health outcomes were assessed. Multilevel modelling found no significant effect of the intervention on MET minutes of activity (from the IPAQ) at any of the follow-up time points controlling for baseline activity. However, the intervention did significantly reduce systolic blood pressure (B=-1.79 mm/Hg) and resting heart rate (B=-2.08 beats) and significantly increased body mass index (B=.18 units) compared to control. The intervention was found not to be cost-effective, however the substantial variability round this estimate suggested that further research is warranted. The current study found mixed support for this worksite physical activity intervention. The paper discusses some of the tensions involved in conducting rigorous evaluations of large-scale randomized controlled trials in real-world settings. © 2011 McEachan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  14. Randomized Clinical Trial of Interceptive and Comprehensive Orthodontics

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, G.J.; Spiekerman, C.F.; Greenlee, G.M.; Huang, G.J.

    2012-01-01

    Focusing public insurance programs on interceptive orthodontics (IO) may increase access for low-income children. This report presents outcomes from a randomized clinical trial (RCT) comparing IO with comprehensive orthodontics (CO) in Medicaid patients. One hundred seventy pre-adolescents with Medicaid-eligible malocclusions were randomized to IO (n = 86) followed by observation (OBS) or OBS followed by CO (n = 84). One hundred thirty-four completed the trial. Models at pre-treatment (baseline) and following ≤ 2 years of intervention and 2 years of OBS (48 mos) were scored by calibrated examiners using the Peer Assessment Rating (PAR) and Index of Complexity, Outcome and Need (ICON). Overall outcomes and clinically meaningful categorical ICON data on need/acceptability, complexity, and improvement were compared. At baseline, groups were balanced by age, gender, ethnicity, and PAR/ICON scores. Most were minorities. Most (77%) were rated as difficult-to-very difficult. Scores improved significantly for both groups, but CO more than IO (PAR, 18.6 [95%CI 15.1, 22.1] vs.10.1 [95%CI 6.7, 13.4]; ICON, 44.8 [95% CI 39.7, 49.9] vs. 35.2 [95%CI 29.7, 40.6], respectively). On average, IO is effective at reducing malocclusions in Medicaid patients, but less than CO. (ClinicalTrials.gov number CT00067379) PMID:22699670

  15. Resistance training program for fatigue management in the workplace: exercise protocol in a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélio Gustavo Santos

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fatigue is a multifactorial condition that leads to disease and loss in production, and it affects a large number of workers worldwide. This study aims to demonstrate a resistance exercise protocol that individuals will perform during the work schedule, and to evaluate the effectiveness of this exercises program for fatigue control. Methods/Design This is a cluster randomized controlled trial with two arms and is assessor blinded. A total of 352 workers of both sexes, aged 18–65 years, from a medium-sized dairy plant were enrolled in this study. Participants will be recruited from 13 production sectors according to the eligibility criteria and will be randomized by clusters to either the Progressive Resistance Exercise (PRE intervention group or the Compensatory Workplace Exercise (CWE comparative group. A resistance exercise program will be implemented for both groups. The groups will receive instructions on self-management, breaks, adjustments to workstations, and the benefits of physical exercise. The PRE group will perform resistance exercises with gradual loads in an exercise room, and the CWE group will perform exercise at their workstations using elastic bands. The exercise sessions will be held 3 times a week for 20 min. The primary outcome measures will be symptoms of physical and mental fatigue, and muscular fatigue based on a one-repetition maximum (1RM. The secondary outcome measures will be level of physical activity, musculoskeletal symptoms, physical condition, perceived exposure, and productivity. The workers will be assessed at baseline and after a 4-month program. A linear mixed model will be applied on an intention-to-treat basis. Discussion This intervention is expected to reduce symptoms of fatigue in the workers. The exercise program is indicating in the workplace, although there are few studies describing the effects of exercise on the control of fatigue in the workplace. Emphasis will be placed on

  16. Resistance training program for fatigue management in the workplace: exercise protocol in a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Hélio Gustavo; Chiavegato, Luciana Dias; Valentim, Daniela Pereira; da Silva, Patricia Rodrigues; Padula, Rosimeire Simprini

    2016-12-22

    Fatigue is a multifactorial condition that leads to disease and loss in production, and it affects a large number of workers worldwide. This study aims to demonstrate a resistance exercise protocol that individuals will perform during the work schedule, and to evaluate the effectiveness of this exercises program for fatigue control. This is a cluster randomized controlled trial with two arms and is assessor blinded. A total of 352 workers of both sexes, aged 18-65 years, from a medium-sized dairy plant were enrolled in this study. Participants will be recruited from 13 production sectors according to the eligibility criteria and will be randomized by clusters to either the Progressive Resistance Exercise (PRE) intervention group or the Compensatory Workplace Exercise (CWE) comparative group. A resistance exercise program will be implemented for both groups. The groups will receive instructions on self-management, breaks, adjustments to workstations, and the benefits of physical exercise. The PRE group will perform resistance exercises with gradual loads in an exercise room, and the CWE group will perform exercise at their workstations using elastic bands. The exercise sessions will be held 3 times a week for 20 min. The primary outcome measures will be symptoms of physical and mental fatigue, and muscular fatigue based on a one-repetition maximum (1RM). The secondary outcome measures will be level of physical activity, musculoskeletal symptoms, physical condition, perceived exposure, and productivity. The workers will be assessed at baseline and after a 4-month program. A linear mixed model will be applied on an intention-to-treat basis. This intervention is expected to reduce symptoms of fatigue in the workers. The exercise program is indicating in the workplace, although there are few studies describing the effects of exercise on the control of fatigue in the workplace. Emphasis will be placed on adherence to the program, which may result in significant and

  17. Nudging guideline-concordant antibiotic prescribing: a randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeker, Daniella; Knight, Tara K; Friedberg, Mark W; Linder, Jeffrey A; Goldstein, Noah J; Fox, Craig R; Rothfeld, Alan; Diaz, Guillermo; Doctor, Jason N

    2014-03-01

    "Nudges" that influence decision making through subtle cognitive mechanisms have been shown to be highly effective in a wide range of applications, but there have been few experiments to improve clinical practice. To investigate the use of a behavioral "nudge" based on the principle of public commitment in encouraging the judicious use of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections (ARIs). Randomized clinical trial in 5 outpatient primary care clinics. A total of 954 adults had ARI visits during the study timeframe: 449 patients were treated by clinicians randomized to the posted commitment letter (335 in the baseline period, 114 in the intervention period); 505 patients were treated by clinicians randomized to standard practice control (384 baseline, 121 intervention). The intervention consisted of displaying poster-sized commitment letters in examination rooms for 12 weeks. These letters, featuring clinician photographs and signatures, stated their commitment to avoid inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for ARIs. Antibiotic prescribing rates for antibiotic-inappropriate ARI diagnoses in baseline and intervention periods, adjusted for patient age, sex, and insurance status. Baseline rates were 43.5% and 42.8% for control and poster, respectively. During the intervention period, inappropriate prescribing rates increased to 52.7% for controls but decreased to 33.7% in the posted commitment letter condition. Controlling for baseline prescribing rates, we found that the posted commitment letter resulted in a 19.7 absolute percentage reduction in inappropriate antibiotic prescribing rate relative to control (P = .02). There was no evidence of diagnostic coding shift, and rates of appropriate antibiotic prescriptions did not diminish over time. Displaying poster-sized commitment letters in examination rooms decreased inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for ARIs. The effect of this simple, low-cost intervention is comparable in magnitude to costlier, more

  18. Effectiveness of the 'Healthy School and Drugs' prevention programme on adolescents' substance use: a randomized clustered trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Malmberg, M.; Kleinjan, M.; Overbeek, G.; Vermulst, A.; Monshouwer, K.; Lammers, J.; Vollebergh, W.A.M.; Engels, R.C.M.E.

    2014-01-01

    Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of the Healthy School and Drugs programme on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use among Dutch early adolescents. Design: Randomized clustered trial with two intervention conditions (i.e. e-learning and integral). Setting: General population of 11-15-year-old

  19. Effectiveness of the 'Healthy School and Drugs' prevention programme on adolescents' substance use : A randomized clustered trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Malmberg, Monique; Kleinjan, Marloes; Overbeek, Geertjan; Vermulst, Ad; Monshouwer, Karin; Lammers, Jeroen; Vollebergh, Wilma A M; Engels, Rutger C M E

    2014-01-01

    Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of the Healthy School and Drugs programme on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use among Dutch early adolescents. Design: Randomized clustered trial with two intervention conditions (i.e. e-learning and integral). Setting: General population of 11-15-year-old

  20. Effectiveness of the 'Healthy School and Drugs' prevention programme on adolescents' substance use: a randomized clustered trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Malmberg, M.; Kleinjan, M.; Overbeek, G.J.; Vermulst, A.A.; Monshouwer, K.; Lammers, J.; Vollebergh, W.A.M.; Engels, R.C.M.E.

    2014-01-01

    Aim To evaluate the effectiveness of the Healthy School and Drugs programme on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use among Dutch early adolescents. Design Randomized clustered trial with two intervention conditions (i.e. e-learning and integral). Setting General population of 11-15-year-old adolescents

  1. Citywide cluster randomized trial to restore blighted vacant land and its effects on violence, crime, and fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles C. Branas; Eugenia South; Michelle C. Kondo; Bernadette C. Hohl; Philippe Bourgois; Douglas J. Wiebe; John M. MacDonald

    2018-01-01

    Vacant and blighted urban land is a widespread and potentially risky environmental condition encountered by millions of people on a daily basis. About 15% of the land in US cities is deemed vacant or abandoned, an area roughly the size of Switzerland. In a citywide cluster randomized controlled trial, we investigated the effects of standardized, reproducible...

  2. Impact of educational intervention on implementation of tobacco counselling among oral health professionals: a cluster-randomized community trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amemori, Masamitsu; Virtanen, Jorma; Korhonen, Tellervo; Kinnunen, Taru H; Murtomaa, Heikki

    2013-04-01

    Tobacco use adversely affects oral health. Clinical guidelines recommend that oral health professionals promote tobacco abstinence and provide patients who use tobacco with brief tobacco use cessation counselling. Research shows that these guidelines are seldom implemented successfully. This study aimed to evaluate two interventions to enhance tobacco use prevention and cessation (TUPAC) counselling among oral health professionals in Finland. We used a cluster-randomized community trial to test educational and fee-for-service interventions in enhancing TUPAC counselling among a sample of dentists (n=73) and dental hygienists (n=22) in Finland. Educational intervention consisted of 1 day of training, including lectures, interactive sessions, multimedia demonstrations and a role play session with standard patient cases. Fee-for-service intervention consisted of monetary compensation for providing tobacco use prevention or cessation counselling. TUPAC counselling procedures provided were reported and measured using an electronic dental records system. In data analysis, intent-to-treat principles were followed at both individual and cluster levels. Descriptive analysis included chi-square and t-tests. A general linear model for repeated measures was used to compare the outcome measures by intervention group. Of 95 providers, 73 participated (76.8%). In preventive counselling, there was no statistically significant time effect or group-by-time interaction. In cessation counselling, statistically significant group-by-time interaction was found after a 6-month follow-up (F=2.31; P=0.007), indicating that counselling activity increased significantly in intervention groups. On average, dental hygienists showed greater activity in tobacco prevention (F=12.13; P=0.001) and cessation counselling (F=30.19; PTUPAC counselling performance. Other approaches than monetary incentives may be needed to enhance the effectiveness of educational intervention. Further studies with focus

  3. Inference of median difference based on the Box-Cox model in randomized clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruo, K; Isogawa, N; Gosho, M

    2015-05-10

    In randomized clinical trials, many medical and biological measurements are not normally distributed and are often skewed. The Box-Cox transformation is a powerful procedure for comparing two treatment groups for skewed continuous variables in terms of a statistical test. However, it is difficult to directly estimate and interpret the location difference between the two groups on the original scale of the measurement. We propose a helpful method that infers the difference of the treatment effect on the original scale in a more easily interpretable form. We also provide statistical analysis packages that consistently include an estimate of the treatment effect, covariance adjustments, standard errors, and statistical hypothesis tests. The simulation study that focuses on randomized parallel group clinical trials with two treatment groups indicates that the performance of the proposed method is equivalent to or better than that of the existing non-parametric approaches in terms of the type-I error rate and power. We illustrate our method with cluster of differentiation 4 data in an acquired immune deficiency syndrome clinical trial. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Nonpharmacologic Pain Management Interventions in German Nursing Homes: A Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalinowski, Sonja; Budnick, Andrea; Kuhnert, Ronny; Könner, Franziska; Kissel-Kröll, Angela; Kreutz, Reinhold; Dräger, Dagmar

    2015-08-01

    The reported prevalence of pain among nursing home residents (NHRs) is high. Insufficient use of analgesics, the conventional pain management strategy, is often reported. Whether and to what extent nonpharmacologic therapies (NPTs) are used to manage the pain of NHRs in Germany is largely unknown. The aim of this cluster-randomized trial was to assess the NPTs provided and to enhance the application and prescription of NPTs in NHRs on an individual level. There were six nursing homes in the intervention group and six in the control group. There were 239 NHRs, aged ≥65 years, with an average Mini-Mental State Examination score of at least 18 at baseline. Pain management interventions (cluster level) included an online course for physicians and 1-day seminar for nurses. Data on NPT applied by nurses and therapeutic NPT prescribed by physicians were obtained from residents' nursing documentation. Face-to-face interviews with NHRs assessed the NPT received. At baseline, 82.6% of NHR (mean age 83 years) were affected by pain, but less than 1 in 10 received NPT. The intervention did not result in a significant increase in the NPT applied by nurses, but did significantly increase the therapeutic NPT prescribed by physicians. Residents were active in using NPT to self-manage their pain. Given the prevalence of pain in NHRs, there is a clear need to improve pain management in this population. Extended use of NPT offers a promising approach. We recommend that nurses provide residents with education on pain-management techniques to support them in taking a proactive role in managing their pain. Copyright © 2015 American Society for Pain Management Nursing. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Promotion and provision of drinking water in schools for overweight prevention: randomized, controlled cluster trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muckelbauer, Rebecca; Libuda, Lars; Clausen, Kerstin; Toschke, André Michael; Reinehr, Thomas; Kersting, Mathilde

    2009-04-01

    The study tested whether a combined environmental and educational intervention solely promoting water consumption was effective in preventing overweight among children in elementary school. The participants in this randomized, controlled cluster trial were second- and third-graders from 32 elementary schools in socially deprived areas of 2 German cities. Water fountains were installed and teachers presented 4 prepared classroom lessons in the intervention group schools (N = 17) to promote water consumption. Control group schools (N = 15) did not receive any intervention. The prevalence of overweight (defined according to the International Obesity Task Force criteria), BMI SD scores, and beverage consumption (in glasses per day; 1 glass was defined as 200 mL) self-reported in 24-hour recall questionnaires, were determined before (baseline) and after the intervention. In addition, the water flow of the fountains was measured during the intervention period of 1 school year (August 2006 to June 2007). Data on 2950 children (intervention group: N = 1641; control group: N = 1309; age, mean +/- SD: 8.3 +/- 0.7 years) were analyzed. After the intervention, the risk of overweight was reduced by 31% in the intervention group, compared with the control group, with adjustment for baseline prevalence of overweight and clustering according to school. Changes in BMI SD scores did not differ between the intervention group and the control group. Water consumption after the intervention was 1.1 glasses per day greater in the intervention group. No intervention effect on juice and soft drink consumption was found. Daily water flow of the fountains indicated lasting use during the entire intervention period, but to varying extent. Our environmental and educational, school-based intervention proved to be effective in the prevention of overweight among children in elementary school, even in a population from socially deprived areas.

  6. Peer Coaches to Improve Diabetes Outcomes in Rural Alabama: A Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safford, Monika M; Andreae, Susan; Cherrington, Andrea L; Martin, Michelle Y; Halanych, Jewell; Lewis, Marquita; Patel, Ashruta; Johnson, Ethel; Clark, Debra; Gamboa, Christopher; Richman, Joshua S

    2015-08-01

    It is unclear whether peer coaching is effective in minority populations living with diabetes in hard-to-reach, under-resourced areas such as the rural South. We examined the effect of an innovative peer-coaching intervention plus brief education vs brief education alone on diabetes outcomes. This was a community-engaged, cluster-randomized, controlled trial with primary care practices and their surrounding communities serving as clusters. The trial enrolled 424 participants, with 360 completing baseline and follow-up data collection (84.9% retention). The primary outcomes were change in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), systolic blood pressure (BP), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), body mass index (BMI), and quality of life, with diabetes distress and patient activation as secondary outcomes. Peer coaches were trained for 2 days in community settings; the training emphasized motivational interviewing skills, diabetes basics, and goal setting. All participants received a 1-hour diabetes education class and a personalized diabetes report card at baseline. Intervention arm participants were also paired with peer coaches; the protocol called for telephone interactions weekly for the first 8 weeks, then monthly for a total of 10 months. Due to real-world constraints, follow-up was protracted, and intervention effects varied over time. The analysis that included the 68% of participants followed up by 15 months showed only a significant increase in patient activation in the intervention group. The analysis that included all participants who eventually completed follow-up revealed that intervention arm participants had significant differences in changes in systolic BP (P = .047), BMI (P = .02), quality of life (P = .003), diabetes distress (P = .004), and patient activation (P = .03), but not in HbA1c (P = .14) or LDL-C (P = .97). Telephone-delivered peer coaching holds promise to improve health for individuals with diabetes living in under-resourced areas. © 2015

  7. Determining the impact of a new physiotherapist-led primary care model for back pain: protocol for a pilot cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jordan; Barber, David; Donnelly, Catherine; French, Simon; Green, Michael; Hill, Jonathan; MacDermid, Joy; Marsh, Jacquelyn; Norman, Kathleen; Richardson, Julie; Taljaard, Monica; Wideman, Timothy; Cooper, Lynn; McPhee, Colleen

    2017-11-09

    Back pain is a leading contributor to disability, healthcare costs, and lost work. Family physicians are the most common first point of contact in the healthcare system for people with back pain, but physiotherapists (PTs) may be able to support the primary care team through evidence-based primary care. A cluster randomized trial is needed to determine the clinical, health system, and societal impact of a primary care model that integrates physiotherapists at the first visit for people with back pain. Prior to conducting a future fully powered cluster randomized trial, we need to demonstrate feasibility of the methods. Therefore, the purpose of this pilot study will be to: 1) Determine feasibility of patient recruitment, assessment procedures, and retention. 2) Determine the feasibility of training and implementation of a new PT-led primary care model for low back pain (LBP) 3) Explore the perspectives of patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) related to their experiences and attitudes towards the new service delivery model, barriers/facilitators to implementation, perceived satisfaction, perceived value, and impact on clinic processes and patient outcomes. This pilot cluster randomized controlled trial will enroll four sites and randomize them to implement a new PT-led primary care model for back pain or a usual physician-led primary care model. All adults booking a primary care visit for back pain will be invited to participate. Feasibility outcomes will include: recruitment and retention rates, completeness of assessment data, PT training participation and confidence after training, and PT treatment fidelity. Secondary outcomes will include the clinical, health system, cost, and process outcomes planned for the future fully powered cluster trial. Results will be analyzed and reported descriptively and qualitatively. To explore perspectives of both HCPs and patients, we will conduct semi-structured qualitative interviews with patients and focus groups with HCPs

  8. Identification and Validation of Clinically Relevant Clusters of Severe Fatigue in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Neil; Jones, Gareth T; Macfarlane, Gary J; Druce, Katie L

    The considerable heterogeneity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-related fatigue is the greatest challenge to determining pathogenesis. The identification of homogenous subtypes of severe fatigue would inform the design and analysis of experiments seeking to characterize the likely numerous causal pathways that underpin the symptom. This study aimed to identify and validate such fatigue subtypes in patients with RA. Data were obtained from patients recruited to the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics register for RA, as either receiving traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD cohort, n = 522) or commencing anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy (anti-TNF cohort, n = 3909). In those reporting severe fatigue (Short-Form 36 vitality ≤ 12.5), this cross-sectional analysis applied hierarchical clustering with weighted-average linkage identified clusters of pain, fatigue, mental health (all Short-Form 36), disability (Health Assessment Questionnaire), and inflammation (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) in the DMARD cohort. K-means clustering sought to validate the solution in the anti-TNF cohort. Clusters were characterized using a priori generated symptom definitions and between-cluster comparisons. Four severe fatigue clusters, labeled as basic (46%), affective (40%), inflammatory (4.5%), and global (8.9%) were identified in the DMARD cohort. All clusters had severe levels of pain and disability and were distinguished by the presence/absence of poor mental health and high inflammation. The same symptom clusters were present in the anti-TNF cohort, although the proportion of participants in each cluster differed (basic = 28.7%; affective = 30.2%; global = 24.1%; inflammatory = 16.9%). Among RA patients with severe fatigue, recruited to two diverse RA cohorts, clinically relevant clusters were identified and validated. These may provide the basis for future mechanistic studies and ultimately support a stratified approach to fatigue management.

  9. A random walk rule for phase I clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durham, S D; Flournoy, N; Rosenberger, W F

    1997-06-01

    We describe a family of random walk rules for the sequential allocation of dose levels to patients in a dose-response study, or phase I clinical trial. Patients are sequentially assigned the next higher, same, or next lower dose level according to some probability distribution, which may be determined by ethical considerations as well as the patient's response. It is shown that one can choose these probabilities in order to center dose level assignments unimodally around any target quantile of interest. Estimation of the quantile is discussed; the maximum likelihood estimator and its variance are derived under a two-parameter logistic distribution, and the maximum likelihood estimator is compared with other nonparametric estimators. Random walk rules have clear advantages: they are simple to implement, and finite and asymptotic distribution theory is completely worked out. For a specific random walk rule, we compute finite and asymptotic properties and give examples of its use in planning studies. Having the finite distribution theory available and tractable obviates the need for elaborate simulation studies to analyze the properties of the design. The small sample properties of our rule, as determined by exact theory, compare favorably to those of the continual reassessment method, determined by simulation.

  10. Motivational Interviewing for Workers with Disabling Musculoskeletal Disorders: Results of a Cluster Randomized Control Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Joanne; Esmail, Shaniff; Rayani, Fahreen; Norris, Colleen M; Gross, Douglas P

    2018-06-01

    Purpose Although functional restoration programs appear effective in assisting injured workers to return-to-work (RTW) after a work related musculoskeletal (MSK) disorder, the addition of Motivational Interviewing (MI) to these programs may result in higher RTW. Methods We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial with claimants attending an occupational rehabilitation facility from November 17, 2014 to June 30, 2015. Six clinicians provided MI in addition to the standard functional restoration program and formed an intervention group. Six clinicians continued to provide the standard functional restoration program based on graded activity, therapeutic exercise, and workplace accommodations. Independent t tests and chi square analysis were used to compare groups. Multivariable logistic regression was used to obtain the odds ratio of claimants' confirmed RTW status at time of program discharge. Results 728 workers' compensation claimants with MSK disorders were entered into 1 of 12 therapist clusters (MI group = 367, control group = 361). Claimants were predominantly employed (72.7%), males (63.2%), with moderate levels of pain and disability (mean pain VAS = 5.0/10 and mean Pain Disability Index = 48/70). Claimants were stratified based on job attachment status. The proportion of successful RTW at program discharge was 12.1% higher for unemployed workers in the intervention group (intervention group 21.6 vs. 9.5% in control, p = 0.03) and 3.0% higher for job attached workers compared to the control group (intervention group 97.1 vs. 94.1% in control, p = 0.10). Adherence to MI was mixed, but RTW was significantly higher among MI-adherent clinicians. The odds ratio for unemployed claimants was 2.64 (0.69-10.14) and 2.50 (0.68-9.14) for employed claimants after adjusting for age, sex, pain intensity, perceived disability, and therapist cluster. Conclusion MI in addition to routine functional restoration is more effective than routine

  11. Systematic pain assessment in nursing homes: a cluster-randomized trial using mixed-methods approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamhidir, Anna-Greta; Sjölund, Britt-Marie; Fläckman, Birgitta; Wimo, Anders; Sköldunger, Anders; Engström, Maria

    2017-02-28

    Chronic pain affects nursing home residents' daily life. Pain assessment is central to adequate pain management. The overall aim was to investigate effects of a pain management intervention on nursing homes residents and to describe staffs' experiences of the intervention. A cluster-randomized trial and a mixed-methods approach. Randomized nursing home assignment to intervention or comparison group. The intervention group after theoretical and practical training sessions, performed systematic pain assessments using predominately observational scales with external and internal facilitators supporting the implementation. No measures were taken in the comparison group; pain management continued as before, but after the study corresponding training was provided. Resident data were collected baseline and at two follow-ups using validated scales and record reviews. Nurse group interviews were carried out twice. Primary outcome measures were wellbeing and proxy-measured pain. Secondary outcome measures were ADL-dependency and pain documentation. Using both non-parametric statistics on residential level and generalized estimating equation (GEE) models to take clustering effects into account, the results revealed non-significant interaction effects for the primary outcome measures, while for ADL-dependency using Katz-ADL there was a significant interaction effect. Comparison group (n = 66 residents) Katz-ADL values showed increased dependency over time, while the intervention group demonstrated no significant change over time (n = 98). In the intervention group, 13/44 residents showed decreased pain scores over the period, 14/44 had no pain score changes ≥ 30% in either direction measured with Doloplus-2. Furthermore, 17/44 residents showed increased pain scores ≥ 30% over time, indicating pain/risk for pain; 8 identified at the first assessment and 9 were new, i.e. developed pain over time. No significant changes in the use of drugs was found in any of

  12. Prospective randomized clinical studies involving reirradiation. Lessons learned

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nieder, Carsten; Langendijk, Johannes A.; Guckenberger, Matthias; Grosu, Anca L.

    2016-01-01

    Reirradiation is a potentially useful option for many patients with recurrent cancer. The purpose of this study was to review all recently published randomized trials in order to identify methodological strengths and weaknesses, comment on the results, clinical implications and open questions, and give advice for the planning of future trials. Systematic review of trials published between 2000 and 2015 (databases searched were PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science). We reviewed 9 trials, most of which addressed reirradiation of head and neck tumours. The median number of patients was 69. Trial design, primary endpoint and statistical hypotheses varied widely. The results contribute mainly to decision making for reirradiation of nasopharynx cancer and bone metastases. The trials with relatively long median follow-up confirm that serious toxicity remains a concern after high cumulative total doses. Multi-institutional collaboration is encouraged to complete sufficiently large trials. Despite a paucity of large randomized studies, reirradiation has been adopted in different clinical scenarios by many institutions. Typically, the patients have been assessed by multidisciplinary tumour boards and advanced technologies are used to create highly conformal dose distributions. (orig.) [de

  13. Do Implant Overdentures Improve Dietary Intake? A Randomized Clinical Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamdan, N.M.; Gray-Donald, K.; Awad, M.A.; Johnson-Down, L.; Wollin, S.; Feine, J.S.

    2013-01-01

    People wearing mandibular two-implant overdentures (IOD) chew food with less difficulty than those wearing conventional complete dentures (CD). However, there is still controversy over whether or not this results in better dietary intake. In this randomized clinical trials (RCT), the amounts of total dietary fiber (TDF), macronutrients, 9 micronutrients, and energy in diets consumed by persons with IOD and CD were compared. Male and female edentate patients ≥ 65 yrs (n = 255) were randomly divided into 2 groups and assigned to receive a maxillary CD and either a mandibular IOD or a CD. One year following prosthesis delivery, 217 participants (CD = 114, IOD = 103) reported the food and quantities they consumed to a registered dietician through a standard 24-hour dietary recall method. The mean and median values of TDF, macro- and micronutrients, and energy consumed by both groups were calculated and compared analytically. No significant between-group differences were found (ps > .05). Despite quality-of-life benefits from IODs, this adequately powered study reveals no evidence of nutritional advantages for independently living medically healthy edentate elders wearing two-implant mandibular overdentures over those wearing conventional complete dentures in their dietary intake at one year following prosthesis delivery (International Clinical Trials ISRCTN24273915). PMID:24158335

  14. Cluster randomized controlled trial of a peer support program for people with diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riddell, Michaela A; Renwick, Carla; Wolfe, Rory

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Well managed diabetes requires active self-management in order to ensure optimal glycaemic control and appropriate use of available clinical services and other supports. Peer supporters can assist people with their daily diabetes self-management activities, provide emotional...... and social support, assist and encourage clinical care and be available when needed. METHODS: A national database of Australians diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is being used to invite people in pre-determined locations to participate in community-based peer support groups. Peer supporters are self......-identified from these communities. All consenting participants receive diabetes self-management education and education manual prior to randomization by community to a peer support intervention or usual care. This multi-faceted intervention comprises four interconnected components for delivering support...

  15. Production of complex particles in low energy spallation and in fragmentation reactions by in-medium random clusterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lacroix, D.; Durand, D.

    2005-09-01

    Rules for in-medium complex particle production in nuclear reactions are proposed. These rules have been implemented in two models to simulate nucleon-nucleus and nucleus-nucleus reactions around the Fermi energy. Our work emphasizes the effect of randomness in cluster formation, the importance of the nucleonic Fermi motion as well as the role of conservation laws. The concepts of total available phase-space and explored phase-space under constraint imposed by the reaction are clarified. The compatibility of experimental observations with a random clusterization is illustrated in a schematic scenario of a proton-nucleus collision. The role of randomness under constraint is also illustrated in the nucleus-nucleus case. (authors)

  16. A cluster-randomized trial of provider-initiated (opt-out) HIV counseling and testing of tuberculosis patients in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Diana S; Deluca, Andrea N; Kali, Paula; Hausler, Harry; Sheard, Carol; Hoosain, Ebrahim; Chaudhary, Mohammad A; Celentano, David D; Chaisson, Richard E

    2008-06-01

    To determine whether implementation of provider-initiated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) counseling would increase the proportion of tuberculosis (TB) patients who received HIV counseling and testing. Cluster-randomized trial with clinic as the unit of randomization. Twenty, medium-sized primary care TB clinics in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. A total of 754 adults (18 years and older) newly registered as TB patients in the 20 study clinics. Implementation of provider-initiated HIV counseling and testing. Percentage of TB patients HIV counseled and tested. SECONDARY: Percentage of patients with HIV test positive, and percentage of those who received cotrimoxazole and who were referred for HIV care. : A total of 754 adults newly registered as TB patients were enrolled. In clinics randomly assigned to implement provider-initiated HIV counseling and testing, 20.7% (73/352) patients were counseled versus 7.7% (31/402) in the control clinics (P = 0.011), and 20.2% (n = 71) versus 6.5% (n = 26) underwent HIV testing (P = 0.009). Of those patients counseled, 97% in the intervention clinics accepted testing versus 79% in control clinics (P = 0.12). The proportion of patients identified as HIV infected in intervention clinics was 8.5% versus 2.5% in control clinics (P = 0.044). Fewer than 40% of patients with a positive HIV test were prescribed cotrimoxazole or referred for HIV care in either study arm. Provider-initiated HIV counseling significantly increased the proportion of adult TB patients who received HIV counseling and testing, but the magnitude of the effect was small. Additional interventions to optimize HIV testing for TB patients urgently need to be evaluated.

  17. A cluster randomized trial of provider-initiated (Opt-out) HIV counseling and testing of tuberculosis patients in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Diana S.; DeLuca, Andrea N.; Kali, Paula; Hausler, Harry; Sheard, Carol; Hoosain, Ebrahim; Chaudhary, Mohammed A.; Celentano, David D.; Chaisson, Richard E.

    2008-01-01

    Objective To determine whether implementation of provider-initiated HIV counseling would increase the proportion of tuberculosis patients that received HIV counseling and testing. Design Cluster-randomized trial with clinic as unit of randomization Setting Twenty, medium-sized primary care TB clinics in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa Subjects A total of 754 adults (≥ 18 years) newly registered as tuberculosis patients the twenty study clinics Intervention Implementation of provider-initiated HIV counseling and testing. Main outcome measures Percentage of TB patients HIV counseled and tested. Secondary Percentage of patients HIV test positive and percentage of those that received cotrimoxazole and who were referred for HIV care. Results A total of 754 adults newly registered as tuberculosis patients were enrolled. In clinics randomly assigned to implement provider-initiated HIV counseling and testing, 20.7% (73/352) patients were counseled versus 7.7% (31/402) in the control clinics (p = 0.011), and 20.2 % (n = 71) versus 6.5% (n = 26) underwent HIV testing (p = 0.009). Of those patients counseled, 97% in the intervention clinics accepted testing versus 79% in control clinics (p =0.12). The proportion of patients identified as HIV-infected in intervention clinics was 8.5% versus 2.5% in control clinics (p=0.044). Fewer than 40% of patients with a positive HIV test were prescribed cotrimoxazole or referred for HIV care in either study arm. Conclusions Provider-initiated HIV counseling significantly increased the proportion of adult TB patients that received HIV counseling and testing, but the magnitude of the effect was small. Additional interventions to optimize HIV testing for TB patients urgently need to be evaluated. PMID:18520677

  18. Dissemination of Evidence-Based Antipsychotic Prescribing Guidelines to Nursing Homes: A Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tjia, Jennifer; Field, Terry; Mazor, Kathleen; Lemay, Celeste A; Kanaan, Abir O; Donovan, Jennifer L; Briesacher, Becky A; Peterson, Daniel; Pandolfi, Michelle; Spenard, Ann; Gurwitz, Jerry H

    2015-07-01

    To evaluate the effectiveness of efforts to translate and disseminate evidence-based guidelines about atypical antipsychotic use to nursing homes (NHs). Three-arm, cluster randomized trial. NHs. NHs in the state of Connecticut. Evidence-based guidelines for atypical antipsychotic prescribing were translated into a toolkit targeting NH stakeholders, and 42 NHs were recruited and randomized to one of three toolkit dissemination strategies: mailed toolkit delivery (minimal intensity); mailed toolkit delivery with quarterly audit and feedback reports about facility-level antipsychotic prescribing (moderate intensity); and in-person toolkit delivery with academic detailing, on-site behavioral management training, and quarterly audit and feedback reports (high intensity). Outcomes were evaluated using the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework. Toolkit awareness of 30% (7/23) of leadership of low-intensity NHs, 54% (19/35) of moderate-intensity NHs, and 82% (18/22) of high-intensity NHs reflected adoption and implementation of the intervention. Highest levels of use and knowledge among direct care staff were reported in high-intensity NHs. Antipsychotic prescribing levels declined during the study period, but there were no statistically significant differences between study arms or from secular trends. RE-AIM indicators suggest some success in disseminating the toolkit and differences in reach, adoption, and implementation according to dissemination strategy but no measurable effect on antipsychotic prescribing trends. Further dissemination to external stakeholders such as psychiatry consultants and hospitals may be needed to influence antipsychotic prescribing for NH residents. © 2015, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2015, The American Geriatrics Society.

  19. Impact of a school-based intervention to promote fruit intake: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosário, R; Araújo, A; Padrão, P; Lopes, O; Moreira, A; Abreu, S; Vale, S; Pereira, B; Moreira, P

    2016-07-01

    There is evidence that fruit consumption among school children is below the recommended levels. This study aims to examine the effects of a dietary education intervention program me, held by teachers previously trained in nutrition, on the consumption of fruit as a dessert at lunch and dinner, among children 6-12 years old. This is a randomized trial with the schools as the unit of randomisation. A total of 464 children (239 female, 6-12years) from seven elementary schools participated in this cluster randomized controlled trial. Three schools were allocated to the intervention and four to the control group. For the intervention schools, we delivered professional development training to school teachers (12 sessions of 3 h each). The training provided information about nutrition, healthy eating, the importance of drinking water and healthy cooking activities. After each session, teachers were encouraged to develop classroom activities focused on the learned topics. Sociodemographic was assessed at baseline and anthropometric, dietary intake and physical activity assessments were performed at baseline and at the end of the intervention. Dietary intake was evaluated by a 24-h dietary recall and fruit consumption as a dessert was gathered at lunch and dinner. Intervened children reported a significant higher intake in the consumption of fruit compared to the controlled children at lunch (P = 0.001) and at dinner (P = 0.012), after adjusting for confounders. Our study provides further support for the success of intervention programmes aimed at improving the consumption of fruit as a dessert in children. Copyright © 2016 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Who is the research subject in cluster randomized trials in health research?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brehaut Jamie C

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This article is part of a series of papers examining ethical issues in cluster randomized trials (CRTs in health research. In the introductory paper in this series, we set out six areas of inquiry that must be addressed if the CRT is to be set on a firm ethical foundation. This paper addresses the first of the questions posed, namely, who is the research subject in a CRT in health research? The identification of human research subjects is logically prior to the application of protections as set out in research ethics and regulation. Aspects of CRT design, including the fact that in a single study the units of randomization, experimentation, and observation may differ, complicate the identification of human research subjects. But the proper identification of human research subjects is important if they are to be protected from harm and exploitation, and if research ethics committees are to review CRTs efficiently. We examine the research ethics literature and international regulations to identify the core features of human research subjects, and then unify these features under a single, comprehensive definition of human research subject. We define a human research subject as any person whose interests may be compromised as a result of interventions in a research study. Individuals are only human research subjects in CRTs if: (1 they are directly intervened upon by investigators; (2 they interact with investigators; (3 they are deliberately intervened upon via a manipulation of their environment that may compromise their interests; or (4 their identifiable private information is used to generate data. Individuals who are indirectly affected by CRT study interventions, including patients of healthcare providers participating in knowledge translation CRTs, are not human research subjects unless at least one of these conditions is met.

  1. A cluster-based randomized controlled trial promoting community participation in arsenic mitigation efforts in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Christine Marie; van Geen, Alexander; Slavkovich, Vesna; Singha, Ashit; Levy, Diane; Islam, Tariqul; Ahmed, Kazi Matin; Moon-Howard, Joyce; Tarozzi, Alessandro; Liu, Xinhua; Factor-Litvak, Pam; Graziano, Joseph

    2012-06-19

    To reduce arsenic (As) exposure, we evaluated the effectiveness of training community members to perform water arsenic (WAs) testing and provide As education compared to sending representatives from outside communities to conduct these tasks. We conducted a cluster based randomized controlled trial of 20 villages in Singair, Bangladesh. Fifty eligible respondents were randomly selected in each village. In 10 villages, a community member provided As education and WAs testing. In a second set of 10 villages an outside representative performed these tasks. Overall, 53% of respondents using As contaminated wells, relative to the Bangladesh As standard of 50 μg/L, at baseline switched after receiving the intervention. Further, when there was less than 60% arsenic contaminated wells in a village, the classification used by the Bangladeshi and UNICEF, 74% of study households in the community tester villages, and 72% of households in the outside tester villages reported switching to an As safe drinking water source. Switching was more common in the outside-tester (63%) versus community-tester villages (44%). However, after adjusting for the availability of arsenic safe drinking water sources, well switching did not differ significantly by type of As tester (Odds ratio = 0.86[95% confidence interval 0.42-1.77). At follow-up, among those using As contaminated wells who switched to safe wells, average urinary As concentrations significantly decreased. The overall intervention was effective in reducing As exposure provided there were As-safe drinking water sources available. However, there was not a significant difference observed in the ability of the community and outside testers to encourage study households to use As-safe water sources. The findings of this study suggest that As education and WAs testing programs provided by As testers, irrespective of their residence, could be used as an effective, low cost approach to reduce As exposure in many As-affected areas of

  2. A cluster-based randomized controlled trial promoting community participation in arsenic mitigation efforts in Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Christine

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective To reduce arsenic (As exposure, we evaluated the effectiveness of training community members to perform water arsenic (WAs testing and provide As education compared to sending representatives from outside communities to conduct these tasks. Methods We conducted a cluster based randomized controlled trial of 20 villages in Singair, Bangladesh. Fifty eligible respondents were randomly selected in each village. In 10 villages, a community member provided As education and WAs testing. In a second set of 10 villages an outside representative performed these tasks. Results Overall, 53% of respondents using As contaminated wells, relative to the Bangladesh As standard of 50 μg/L, at baseline switched after receiving the intervention. Further, when there was less than 60% arsenic contaminated wells in a village, the classification used by the Bangladeshi and UNICEF, 74% of study households in the community tester villages, and 72% of households in the outside tester villages reported switching to an As safe drinking water source . Switching was more common in the outside-tester (63% versus community-tester villages (44%. However, after adjusting for the availability of arsenic safe drinking water sources, well switching did not differ significantly by type of As tester (Odds ratio =0.86[95% confidence interval 0.42-1.77. At follow-up, among those using As contaminated wells who switched to safe wells, average urinary As concentrations significantly decreased. Conclusion The overall intervention was effective in reducing As exposure provided there were As-safe drinking water sources available. However, there was not a significant difference observed in the ability of the community and outside testers to encourage study households to use As-safe water sources. The findings of this study suggest that As education and WAs testing programs provided by As testers, irrespective of their residence, could be used as an effective, low cost

  3. Web-based consultation between general practitioners and nephrologists: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gelder, Vincent A; Scherpbier-de Haan, Nynke D; van Berkel, Saskia; Akkermans, Reinier P; de Grauw, Inge S; Adang, Eddy M; Assendelft, Pim J; de Grauw, Wim J C; Biermans, Marion C J; Wetzels, Jack F M

    2017-08-01

    Consultation of a nephrologist is important in aligning care for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) at the primary-secondary care interface. However, current consultation methods come with practical difficulties that can lead to postponed consultation or patient referral instead. This study aimed to investigate whether a web-based consultation platform, telenephrology, led to a lower referral rate of indicated patients. Furthermore, we assessed consultation rate, quality of care, costs and general practitioner (GPs') experiences with telenephrology. Cluster randomized controlled trial with 47 general practices in the Netherlands was randomized to access to telenephrology or to enhanced usual care. A total of 3004 CKD patients aged 18 years or older who were under primary care were included (intervention group n = 1277, control group n = 1727) and 2693 completed the trial. All practices participated in a CKD management course and were given an overview of their CKD patients. The referral rates amounted to 2.3% (n = 29) in the intervention group and 3.0% (n = 52) in the control group, which was a non-significant difference, OR 0.61; 95% CI 0.31 to 1.23. The intervention group's consultation rate was 6.3% (n = 81) against 5.0% (n = 87) (OR 2.00; 95% CI 0.75-5.33). We found no difference in quality of care or costs. The majority of GPs had a positive opinion about telenephrology. The data in our study do not allow for conclusions on the effect of telenephrology on the rate of patient referrals and provider-to-provider consultations, compared to conventional methods. It was positively evaluated by GPs and was non-inferior in terms of quality of care and costs. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Inadequacy of ethical conduct and reporting of stepped wedge cluster randomized trials: Results from a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taljaard, Monica; Hemming, Karla; Shah, Lena; Giraudeau, Bruno; Grimshaw, Jeremy M; Weijer, Charles

    2017-08-01

    Background/aims The use of the stepped wedge cluster randomized design is rapidly increasing. This design is commonly used to evaluate health policy and service delivery interventions. Stepped wedge cluster randomized trials have unique characteristics that complicate their ethical interpretation. The 2012 Ottawa Statement provides comprehensive guidance on the ethical design and conduct of cluster randomized trials, and the 2010 CONSORT extension for cluster randomized trials provides guidelines for reporting. Our aims were to assess the adequacy of the ethical conduct and reporting of stepped wedge trials to date, focusing on research ethics review and informed consent. Methods We conducted a systematic review of stepped wedge cluster randomized trials in health research published up to 2014 in English language journals. We extracted details of study intervention and data collection procedures, as well as reporting of research ethics review and informed consent. Two reviewers independently extracted data from each trial; discrepancies were resolved through discussion. We identified the presence of any research participants at the cluster level and the individual level. We assessed ethical conduct by tabulating reporting of research ethics review and informed consent against the presence of research participants. Results Of 32 identified stepped wedge trials, only 24 (75%) reported review by a research ethics committee, and only 16 (50%) reported informed consent from any research participants-yet, all trials included research participants at some level. In the subgroup of 20 trials with research participants at cluster level, only 4 (20%) reported informed consent from such participants; in 26 trials with individual-level research participants, only 15 (58%) reported their informed consent. Interventions (regardless of whether targeting cluster- or individual-level participants) were delivered at the group level in more than two-thirds of trials; nine trials (28

  5. Verapamil for cluster headache. Clinical pharmacology and possible mode of action

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tfelt-Hansen, Peer; Tfelt-Hansen, Jacob

    2009-01-01

    is therefore limited. The clinical use of verapamil in cluster headache is reviewed and several relevant drug interactions are mentioned. Finally, its possible mode of action in cluster headache is discussed. The effect of verapamil in cluster headache most likely takes place in the hypothalamus......Verapamil is used mainly in cardiovascular diseases. High-dose verapamil (360-720 mg) is, however, currently the mainstay in the prophylactic treatment of cluster headache. The oral pharmacokinetics are variable. The pharmacodynamic effect of verapamil, the effect on blood pressure, also varies.......Verapamil is an L-type calcium channel blocker but it is also a blocker of other calcium channels (T-, P-, and possibly N- and Q-type Ca(2+) channels) and the human ether-a-go-go-related gene potassium channel. With so many different actions of verapamil, it is impossible at the present time to single out a certain...

  6. Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial to Promote Option B+ Retention in Central Mozambique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeiffer, James T; Napúa, Manuel; Wagenaar, Bradley H; Chale, Falume; Hoek, Roxanne; Micek, Mark; Manuel, João; Michel, Cathy; Cowan, Jessica Greenberg; Cowan, James F; Gimbel, Sarah; Sherr, Kenneth; Gloyd, Stephen; Chapman, Rachel R

    2017-11-01

    This randomized trial studied performance of Option B+ in Mozambique and evaluated an enhanced retention package in public clinics. The study was conducted at 6 clinics in Manica and Sofala Provinces in central Mozambique. Seven hundred sixty-one pregnant women tested HIV+, immediately initiated antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, and were followed to track retention at 6 clinics from May 2014 to May 2015. Clinics were randomly allocated within a stepped-wedge fashion to intervention and control periods. The intervention included (1) workflow modifications and (2) active patient tracking. Retention was defined as percentage of patients returning for 30-, 60-, and 90-day medication refills within 25-35 days of previous refills. During control periods, 52.3% of women returned for 30-day refills vs. 70.8% in intervention periods [odds ratio (OR): 1.80; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05 to 3.08]. At 60 days, 46.1% control vs. 57.9% intervention were retained (OR: 1.82; CI: 1.06 to 3.11), and at 90 days, 38.3% control vs. 41.0% intervention (OR: 1.04; CI: 0.60 to 1.82). In prespecified subanalyses, birth before pickups was strongly associated with failure-women giving birth before ARV pickup were 33.3 times (CI: 4.4 to 250.3), 7.5 times (CI: 3.6 to 15.9), and 3.7 times (CI: 2.2 to 6.0) as likely to not return for ARV pickups at 30, 60, and 90 days, respectively. The intervention was effective at 30 and 60 days, but not at 90 days. Combined 90-day retention (40%) and adherence (22.5%) were low. Efforts to improve retention are particularly important for women giving birth before ARV refills.

  7. Effect of an educational intervention to improve adverse drug reaction reporting in physicians: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Gonzalez, Elena; Herdeiro, Maria T; Piñeiro-Lamas, María; Figueiras, Adolfo

    2015-02-01

    The yellow-card scheme continues to be one of the principal methods for signal generation in pharmacovigilance. Nevertheless, under-reporting, one of its disadvantages, delays alert signals and has a negative influence on public health. Educational interventions in pharmacovigilance may have a positive impact on the spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs). To assess the duration of the effect and effectiveness of an educational intervention in pharmacovigilance designed to improve ADR reporting in a robust pharmacovigilance system. A spatial, cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted covering all National Health System physicians in the northwest of Spain and targeting those who were actively engaged in clinical practice (n = 7,498). Of these, 2,120 were assigned in three spatial clusters to the intervention group (six hospitals and 138 primary care centers) and 3,614 in four clusters to the control group (seven hospitals and 267 primary care centers). The educational intervention consisted of two complementary approaches--one active (group sessions), the other passive (educational material, reporting form)-implemented from November 2007 to December 2008, with a follow-up period of 8 months. Intervention participation was 53.7 % in a hospital setting and 60.5 % in primary care settings. ADR reporting in the intervention group increased by 65.4 % (95 % confidence interval [CI]: 8.2-153.4) across the follow-up. The ADR reporting rate per 1,000 physicians/year in the intervention group rose from 28.1 to 39.6 following the intervention (51.7 and 27.4 in the first and second 4-month period, respectively). For the intervention group, relative risk (RR) was 2.31 (95 % CI: 1.46-3.68) and 1.04 (95 % CI: 0.61-1.77) in the first and second 4-month period, respectively adjusted to baseline values. There was an increase in unexpected ADR reporting (RR 2.06, 95 % CI 1.19-3.55). Pharmacovigilance educational interventions that have proved effective can be

  8. Specific collaborative group intervention for patients with medically unexplained symptoms in general practice: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefert, R; Kaufmann, C; Wild, B; Schellberg, D; Boelter, R; Faber, R; Szecsenyi, J; Sauer, N; Guthrie, E; Herzog, W

    2013-01-01

    Patients with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) are frequent in primary care and substantially impaired in their quality of life (QoL). Specific training of general practitioners (GPs) alone did not demonstrate sustained improvement at later follow-up in current reviews. We evaluated a collaborative group intervention. We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial. Thirty-five GPs recruited 304 MUS patients (intervention group: 170; control group: 134). All GPs were trained in diagnosis and management of MUS (control condition). Eighteen randomly selected intervention GPs participated in training for a specific collaborative group intervention. They conducted 10 weekly group sessions and 2 booster meetings in their practices, together with a psychosomatic specialist. Six and 12 months after baseline, QoL was assessed with the Short-Form 36. The primary outcome was the physical composite score (PCS), and the secondary outcome was the mental composite score (MCS). At 12 months, intention-to-treat analyses showed a significant between-group effect for the MCS (p = 0.023) but not for the PCS (p = 0.674). This effect was preceded by a significant reduction of somatic symptom severity (15-item somatic symptom severity scale of the Patient Health Questionnaire, PHQ-15) at 6 months (p = 0.008) that lacked significance at 12 months (p = 0.078). As additional between-group effects at 12 months, per-protocol analyses showed less health anxiety (Whiteley-7; p = 0.038) and less psychosocial distress (PHQ; p = 0.024); GP visits were significantly (p = 0.042) reduced in the intervention group. Compared to pure GP training, collaborative group intervention achieved a progressive, clinically meaningful improvement in mental but not physical QoL. It could bridge gaps between general practice and mental health care. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Test of a workforce development intervention to expand opioid use disorder treatment pharmacotherapy prescribers: protocol for a cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd Molfenter

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Overdoses due to non-medical use of prescription opioids and other opiates have become the leading cause of accidental deaths in the USA. Buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone are key evidence-based pharmacotherapies available to addiction treatment providers to address opioid use disorder (OUD and prevent overdose deaths. Treatment organizations’ efforts to provide these pharmacotherapies have, however, been stymied by limited success in recruiting providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to prescribe these medications. Historically, the addiction treatment field has not attracted physicians, and many barriers to implementing OUD pharmacotherapy exist, ranging from lack of confidence in treating OUD patients to concerns regarding reimbursement. Throughout the USA, the prevalence of OUD far exceeds the capacity of the OUD pharmacotherapy treatment system. Poor access to OUD pharmacotherapy prescribers has become a workforce development need for the addiction treatment field and a significant health issue. Methods This cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT is designed to increase buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone treatment capacity for OUD. The implementation intervention to be tested is a bundle of OUD pharmacotherapy capacity building practices called the Prescriber Recruitment Bundle (PRB, which was developed and piloted in a previous statewide buprenorphine implementation study. For this cluster RCT, organizational sites will be recruited and then randomized into one of two arms: (1 control, with treatment as usual and access to a website with PRB resources, or (2 intervention, with organizations implementing the PRB using the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment organizational change model over a 24-month intervention period and a 10-month sustainability period. The primary treatment outcomes for each organizational site are self-reported monthly counts of

  10. Test of a workforce development intervention to expand opioid use disorder treatment pharmacotherapy prescribers: protocol for a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molfenter, Todd; Knudsen, Hannah K; Brown, Randy; Jacobson, Nora; Horst, Julie; Van Etten, Mark; Kim, Jee-Seon; Haram, Eric; Collier, Elizabeth; Starr, Sanford; Toy, Alexander; Madden, Lynn

    2017-11-15

    Overdoses due to non-medical use of prescription opioids and other opiates have become the leading cause of accidental deaths in the USA. Buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone are key evidence-based pharmacotherapies available to addiction treatment providers to address opioid use disorder (OUD) and prevent overdose deaths. Treatment organizations' efforts to provide these pharmacotherapies have, however, been stymied by limited success in recruiting providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) to prescribe these medications. Historically, the addiction treatment field has not attracted physicians, and many barriers to implementing OUD pharmacotherapy exist, ranging from lack of confidence in treating OUD patients to concerns regarding reimbursement. Throughout the USA, the prevalence of OUD far exceeds the capacity of the OUD pharmacotherapy treatment system. Poor access to OUD pharmacotherapy prescribers has become a workforce development need for the addiction treatment field and a significant health issue. This cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) is designed to increase buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone treatment capacity for OUD. The implementation intervention to be tested is a bundle of OUD pharmacotherapy capacity building practices called the Prescriber Recruitment Bundle (PRB), which was developed and piloted in a previous statewide buprenorphine implementation study. For this cluster RCT, organizational sites will be recruited and then randomized into one of two arms: (1) control, with treatment as usual and access to a website with PRB resources, or (2) intervention, with organizations implementing the PRB using the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment organizational change model over a 24-month intervention period and a 10-month sustainability period. The primary treatment outcomes for each organizational site are self-reported monthly counts of buprenorphine slots, extended

  11. Implementing international osteoarthritis treatment guidelines in primary health care: study protocol for the SAMBA stepped wedge cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Østerås, Nina; van Bodegom-Vos, Leti; Dziedzic, Krysia; Moseng, Tuva; Aas, Eline; Andreassen, Øyvor; Mdala, Ibrahim; Natvig, Bård; Røtterud, Jan Harald; Schjervheim, Unni-Berit; Vlieland, Thea Vliet; Hagen, Kåre Birger

    2015-12-02

    Previous research indicates that people with osteoarthritis (OA) are not receiving the recommended and optimal treatment. Based on international treatment recommendations for hip and knee OA and previous research, the SAMBA model for integrated OA care in Norwegian primary health care has been developed. The model includes physiotherapist (PT) led patient OA education sessions and an exercise programme lasting 8-12 weeks. This study aims to assess the effectiveness, feasibility, and costs of a tailored strategy to implement the SAMBA model. A cluster randomized controlled trial with stepped wedge design including an effect, process, and cost evaluation will be conducted in six municipalities (clusters) in Norway. The municipalities will be randomized for time of crossover from current usual care to the implementation of the SAMBA model by a tailored strategy. The tailored strategy includes interactive workshops for general practitioners (GPs) and PTs in primary care covering the SAMBA model for integrated OA care, educational material, educational outreach visits, feedback, and reminder material. Outcomes will be measured at the patient, GP, and PT levels using self-report, semi-structured interviews, and register based data. The primary outcome measure is patient-reported quality of care (OsteoArthritis Quality Indicator questionnaire) at 6-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes include referrals to PT, imaging, and referrals to the orthopaedic surgeon as well as participants' treatment satisfaction, symptoms, physical activity level, body weight, and self-reported and measured lower limb function. The actual exposure to the tailor made implementation strategy and user experiences will be measured in a process evaluation. In the economic evaluation, the difference in costs of usual OA care and the SAMBA model for integrated OA care will be compared with the difference in health outcomes and reported by the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). The results

  12. Gender differences on effectiveness of a school-based physical activity intervention for reducing cardiometabolic risk: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Vizcaíno, Vicente; Sánchez-López, Mairena; Notario-Pacheco, Blanca; Salcedo-Aguilar, Fernando; Solera-Martínez, Montserrat; Franquelo-Morales, Pablo; López-Martínez, Sara; García-Prieto, Jorge C; Arias-Palencia, Natalia; Torrijos-Niño, Coral; Mora-Rodríguez, Ricardo; Rodríguez-Artalejo, Fernando

    2014-12-10

    Studies that have examined the impact of a physical activity intervention on cardiometabolic risk factors have yielded conflicting results. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of a standardized physical activity program on adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors in schoolchildren. Cluster randomized trial study of 712 schoolchildren, 8-10 years, from 20 public schools in the Province of Cuenca, Spain. The intervention (MOVI-2) consisted of play-based and non-competitive activities. MOVI-2 was conducted during two 90-minute sessions on weekdays and one 150-minute session on Saturday mornings every week between September 2010 and May 2011. We measured changes in adiposity (overweight/obesity prevalence, body mass index [BMI], triceps skinfold thickness [TST], body fat %, fat-free mass, waist circumference) and other cardiometabolic risk factors (LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides/HDL-cholesterol ratio, insulin, C-reactive protein and blood pressure). The analyses used mixed regression models to adjust for baseline covariates under cluster randomization. Among girls, we found a reduction of adiposity in intervention versus control schools, with a decrease in TST (-1.1 mm; 95% confidence interval [CI] -2.3 to -0.7), body fat % (-0.9%; 95% CI -1.3 to -0.4), waist circumference (-2.7 cm; 95% CI -4.5 to -0.9), and an increase in fat-free mass (0.3 kg; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.6). The intervention also led to lower serum LDL-cholesterol and insulin levels. Among boys, a reduction in waist circumference (-1.4 cm; 95% CI -2.6 to -0.1; P = 0.03), and an increase in fat-free mass (0.5 kg; 95% CI 0.2 to 0.9; P = 0.003) was associated with the intervention versus control schools. The prevalence of overweight/obesity or underweight, BMI, and other cardiometabolic risk factors was not modified by the intervention. No important adverse events were registered. An extracurricular intervention of non-competitive physical activity during an academic year, targeting all

  13. Factors influencing participation in a vascular disease prevention lifestyle program among participants in a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, Rachel A; Fanaian, Mahnaz; Jayasinghe, Upali W; McKenzie, Suzanne; Passey, Megan; Davies, Gawaine Powell; Lyle, David; Harris, Mark F

    2013-05-31

    Previous research suggests that lifestyle intervention for the prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are effective, however little is known about factors affecting participation in such programs. This study aims to explore factors influencing levels of participation in a lifestyle modification program conducted as part of a cluster randomized controlled trial of CVD prevention in primary care. This concurrent mixed methods study used data from the intervention arm of a cluster RCT which recruited 30 practices through two rural and three urban primary care organizations. Practices were randomly allocated to intervention (n = 16) and control (n = 14) groups. In each practice up to 160 eligible patients aged between 40 and 64 years old, were invited to participate. Intervention practice staff were trained in lifestyle assessment and counseling and referred high risk patients to a lifestyle modification program (LMP) consisting of two individual and six group sessions over a nine month period. Data included a patient survey, clinical audit, practice survey on capacity for preventive care, referral and attendance records at the LMP and qualitative interviews with Intervention Officers facilitating the LMP. Multi-level logistic regression modelling was used to examine independent predictors of attendance at the LMP, supplemented with qualitative data from interviews with Intervention Officers facilitating the program. A total of 197 individuals were referred to the LMP (63% of those eligible). Over a third of patients (36.5%) referred to the LMP did not attend any sessions, with 59.4% attending at least half of the planned sessions. The only independent predictors of attendance at the program were employment status - not working (OR: 2.39 95% CI 1.15-4.94) and having high psychological distress (OR: 2.17 95% CI: 1.10-4.30). Qualitative data revealed that physical access to the program was a barrier, while GP/practice endorsement of the program and

  14. Energy Balance 4 Kids with Play: Results from a Two-Year Cluster-Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, Kristine; Linchey, Jennifer; Gerstein, Dana; Ross, Michelle; Myers, Esther; Brown, Katie; Crawford, Patricia

    2015-08-01

    Identifying sustainable approaches to improving the physical activity (PA) and nutrition environments in schools is an important public health goal. This study examined the impact of Energy Balance for Kids with Play (EB4K with Play), a school-based intervention developed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and Playworks, on students' PA, dietary habits and knowledge, and weight status over 2 years. This cluster-randomized, controlled trial took place in four intervention and two control schools over 2 years (n=879; third- to fifth-grade students). PA (fourth and fifth grades only), dietary knowledge and behaviors, school policies, and BMI z-score were assessed at baseline (fall 2011), midpoint (spring 2012), and endpoint (fall 2012 for accelerometers; spring 2013 for all other outcomes). At endpoint, there were no group differences in change in PA or dietary behaviors, although BMI z-score decreased overall by -0.07 (p=0.05). Students' dietary knowledge significantly increased, as did the amount of vegetables schools served. Post-hoc analyses stratified by grade revealed that, relative to control students, fourth-grade intervention students reduced school-day sedentary time by 15 minutes (p=0.023) and third-grade intervention students reduced BMI z-score by -0.2 (0.05; pchildren's dietary knowledge and may improve weight status and decrease sedentary behaviors among younger children. Future iterations should examine programming specific for different age groups.

  15. Geographic analysis of vaccine uptake in a cluster-randomized controlled trial in Hue, Vietnam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Mohammad; Thiem, Vu Dinh; Park, Jin-Kyung; Ochiai, Rion Leon; Canh, Do Gia; Danovaro-Holliday, M Carolina; Kaljee, Linda M; Clemens, John D; Acosta, Camilo J

    2007-09-01

    This paper identifies spatial patterns and predictors of vaccine uptake in a cluster-randomized controlled trial in Hue, Vietnam. Data for this study result from the integration of demographic surveillance, vaccine record, and geographic data of the study area. A multi-level cross-classified (non-hierarchical) model was used for analyzing the non-nested nature of individual's ecological data. Vaccine uptake was unevenly distributed in space and there was spatial variability among predictors of vaccine uptake. Vaccine uptake was higher among students with younger, male, or not literate family heads. Students from households with higher per-capita income were less likely to participate in the trial. Residency south of the river or further from a hospital/polyclinic was associated with higher vaccine uptake. Younger students were more likely to be vaccinated than older students in high- or low-risk areas, but not in the entire study area. The findings are important for the management of vaccine campaigns during a trial and for interpretation of disease patterns during vaccine-efficacy evaluation.

  16. Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Improved Markov Random Fusion Algorithm in Image Segmentation of Brain Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guohua Zou

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available New medical imaging technology, such as Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI, has been widely used in all aspects of medical diagnosis. The purpose of these imaging techniques is to obtain various qualitative and quantitative data of the patient comprehensively and accurately, and provide correct digital information for diagnosis, treatment planning and evaluation after surgery. MR has a good imaging diagnostic advantage for brain diseases. However, as the requirements of the brain image definition and quantitative analysis are always increasing, it is necessary to have better segmentation of MR brain images. The FCM (Fuzzy C-means algorithm is widely applied in image segmentation, but it has some shortcomings, such as long computation time and poor anti-noise capability. In this paper, firstly, the Ant Colony algorithm is used to determine the cluster centers and the number of FCM algorithm so as to improve its running speed. Then an improved Markov random field model is used to improve the algorithm, so that its antinoise ability can be improved. Experimental results show that the algorithm put forward in this paper has obvious advantages in image segmentation speed and segmentation effect.

  17. A cluster randomized theory-guided oral hygiene trial in adolescents-A latent growth model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleksejūnienė, J; Brukienė, V

    2018-05-01

    (i) To test whether theory-guided interventions are more effective than conventional dental instruction (CDI) for changing oral hygiene in adolescents and (ii) to examine whether such interventions equally benefit both genders and different socio-economic (SES) groups. A total of 244 adolescents were recruited from three schools, and cluster randomization allocated adolescents to one of the three types of interventions: two were theory-based interventions (Precaution Adoption Process Model or Authoritative Parenting Model) and CDI served as an active control. Oral hygiene levels % (OH) were assessed at baseline, after 3 months and after 12 months. A complete data set was available for 166 adolescents (the total follow-up rate: 69%). There were no significant differences in baseline OH between those who participated throughout the study and those who dropped out. Bivariate and multivariate analyses showed that theory-guided interventions produced significant improvements in oral hygiene and that there were no significant gender or socio-economic differences. Theory-guided interventions produced more positive changes in OH than CDI, and these changes did not differ between gender and SES groups. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Supportive supervision for volunteers to deliver reproductive health education: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Debra; Negin, Joel; Orach, Christopher Garimoi; Cumming, Robert

    2016-10-03

    Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) can be effective in improving pregnancy and newborn outcomes through community education. Inadequate supervision of CHVs, whether due to poor planning, irregular visits, or ineffective supervisory methods, is, however, recognized as a weakness in many programs. There has been little research on best practice supervisory or accompaniment models. From March 2014 to February 2015 a proof of concept study was conducted to compare training alone versus training and supportive supervision by paid CHWs (n = 4) on the effectiveness of CHVs (n = 82) to deliver education about pregnancy, newborn care, family planning and hygiene. The pair-matched cluster randomized trial was conducted in eight villages (four intervention and four control) in Budondo sub-county in Jinja, Uganda. Increases in desired behaviors were seen in both the intervention and control arms over the study period. Both arms showed high retention rates of CHVs (95 %). At 1 year follow-up there was a significantly higher prevalence of installed and functioning tippy taps for hand washing (p services. Supportive supervision involves creating a non-threatening, empowering environment in which both the CHV and the supervising CHW learn together and overcome obstacles that might otherwise demotivate the CHV. While the results seem promising for added value with supportive supervision for CHVs undertaking reproductive health activities, further research on a larger scale will be needed to substantiate the effect.

  19. Cluster-randomized trial demonstrating impact on academic achievement of elementary social-emotional learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schonfeld, David J; Adams, Ryan E; Fredstrom, Bridget K; Weissberg, Roger P; Gilman, Richard; Voyce, Charlene; Tomlin, Ricarda; Speese-Linehan, Dee

    2015-09-01

    This study evaluated the results of a social and emotional learning (SEL) program on academic achievement among students attending a large, urban, high-risk school district. Using a cluster-randomized design, 24 elementary schools were assigned to receive either the intervention curriculum (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies, or PATHS) or a curriculum that delivered few if any SEL topics (i.e., the control group). In addition to state mastery test scores, demographic data, school attendance, and dosage information were obtained from 705 students who remained in the same group from the 3rd to the 6th grade. Analyses of odds ratios revealed that students enrolled in the intervention schools demonstrated higher levels of basic proficiency in reading, writing, and math at some grade levels. Although these between-groups differences held for race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status, significant within-group differences also were noted across these variables. Collectively, these findings indicated that social development instruction may be a promising approach to promote acquisition of academic proficiency, especially among youth attending high-risk school settings. Implications of these findings with respect to SEL programs conclude the article. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Neuromuscular training reduces lower limb injuries in elite female basketball players. A cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonato, M; Benis, R; La Torre, A

    2018-04-01

    The study was a two-armed, parallel group, cluster randomized controlled trial in which 15 teams (160 players) were assigned to either an experimental group (EG, 8 teams n = 86), which warmed-up with bodyweight neuromuscular exercises, or a control group (CG, 7 teams, n = 74) that performed standard tactical-technical exercises before training. All injuries during the 2015-2016 regular season were counted. Epidemiologic incidence proportion and incidence rate were also calculated. Countermovement jump (CMJ) and composite Y-Excursion Balance test (YBT) were used to assess lower limb strength and postural control. A total of 111 injuries were recorded. Chi-square test detected statistically significant differences between EG and CG (32 vs 79, P = .006). Significant differences in the injuries sustained in the EG (21 vs 11, P = .024) and CG (52 vs 27, P = .0001) during training and matches, respectively, were observed. Significant differences in post-intervention injuries were observed between in EG and CG during training (21 vs 52, P training into warm-up routines reduced the incidence of serious lower limb injuries in elite female basketball players. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Comparison of media literacy and usual education to prevent tobacco use: a cluster-randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Primack, Brian A; Douglas, Erika L; Land, Stephanie R; Miller, Elizabeth; Fine, Michael J

    2014-02-01

    Media literacy programs have shown potential for reduction of adolescent tobacco use. We aimed to determine if an anti-smoking media literacy curriculum improves students' media literacy and affects factors related to adolescent smoking. We recruited 1170 9th-grade students from 64 classrooms in 3 public urban high schools. Students were randomized by classroom to a media literacy curriculum versus a standard educational program. In an intent-to-treat analysis, we used multilevel modeling to determine if changes in study outcomes were associated with the curricular intervention, controlling for baseline student covariates and the clustering of students within classrooms. Among participants, mean age was 14.5 years and 51% were male, with no significant differences in baseline characteristics between groups. Smoking media literacy changed more among intervention participants compared with control participants (0.24 vs. 0.08, p media literacy curriculum is more effective than a standard educational program in teaching media literacy and improving perceptions of the true prevalence of smoking among adolescents. © 2014, American School Health Association.

  2. Recruitment to online therapies for depression: pilot cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Ray B; Goldsmith, Lesley; Hewson, Paul; Williams, Christopher J

    2013-03-05

    Raising awareness of online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could benefit many people with depression, but we do not know how purchasing online advertising compares to placing free links from relevant local websites in increasing uptake. To pilot a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing purchase of Google AdWords with placing free website links in raising awareness of online CBT resources for depression in order to better understand research design issues. We compared two online interventions with a control without intervention. The pilot RCT had 4 arms, each with 4 British postcode areas: (A) geographically targeted AdWords, (B) adverts placed on local websites by contacting website owners and requesting links be added, (C) both interventions, (D) control. Participants were directed to our research project website linking to two freely available online CBT resource sites (Moodgym and Living Life To The Full (LLTTF)) and two other depression support sites. We used data from (1) AdWords, (2) Google Analytics for our project website and for LLTTF, and (3) research project website. We compared two outcomes: (1) numbers with depression accessing the research project website, and then chose an onward link to one of the two CBT websites, and (2) numbers registering with LLTTF. We documented costs, and explored intervention and assessment methods to make general recommendations to inform researchers aiming to use similar methodologies in future studies. Trying to place local website links appeared much less cost effective than AdWords and although may prove useful for service delivery, was not worth pursuing in the context of the current study design. Our AdWords intervention was effective in recruiting people to the project website but our location targeting "leaked" and was not as geographically specific as claimed. The impact on online CBT was also diluted by offering participants other choices of destinations. Measuring the impact on LLTTF use was

  3. Effect of providing free glasses on children's educational outcomes in China: cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiaochen; Zhou, Zhongqiang; Yi, Hongmei; Pang, Xiaopeng; Shi, Yaojiang; Chen, Qianyun; Meltzer, Mirjam E; le Cessie, Saskia; He, Mingguang; Rozelle, Scott; Liu, Yizhi; Congdon, Nathan

    2014-09-23

    To assess the effect of provision of free glasses on academic performance in rural Chinese children with myopia. Cluster randomized, investigator masked, controlled trial. 252 primary schools in two prefectures in western China, 2012-13. 3177 of 19,934 children in fourth and fifth grades (mean age 10.5 years) with visual acuity 6/12 with glasses. 3052 (96.0%) completed the study. Children were randomized by school (84 schools per arm) to one of three interventions at the beginning of the school year: prescription for glasses only (control group), vouchers for free glasses at a local facility, or free glasses provided in class. Spectacle wear at endline examination and end of year score on a specially designed mathematics test, adjusted for baseline score and expressed in standard deviations. Among 3177 eligible children, 1036 (32.6%) were randomized to control, 988 (31.1%) to vouchers, and 1153 (36.3%) to free glasses in class. All eligible children would benefit from glasses, but only 15% wore them at baseline. At closeout glasses wear was 41% (observed) and 68% (self reported) in the free glasses group, and 26% (observed) and 37% (self reported) in the controls. Effect on test score was 0.11 SD (95% confidence interval 0.01 to 0.21) when the free glasses group was compared with the control group. The adjusted effect of providing free glasses (0.10, 0.002 to 0.19) was greater than parental education (0.03, -0.04 to 0.09) or family wealth (0.01, -0.06 to 0.08). This difference between groups was significant, but was smaller than the prespecified 0.20 SD difference that the study was powered to detect. The provision of free glasses to Chinese children with myopia improves children's performance on mathematics testing to a statistically significant degree, despite imperfect compliance, although the observed difference between groups was smaller than the study was originally designed to detect. Myopia is common and rarely corrected in this setting.Trial Registration

  4. Relationship between clustering and algorithmic phase transitions in the random k-XORSAT model and its NP-complete extensions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altarelli, F; Monasson, R; Zamponi, F

    2008-01-01

    We study the performances of stochastic heuristic search algorithms on Uniquely Extendible Constraint Satisfaction Problems with random inputs. We show that, for any heuristic preserving the Poissonian nature of the underlying instance, the (heuristic-dependent) largest ratio α a of constraints per variables for which a search algorithm is likely to find solutions is smaller than the critical ratio α d above which solutions are clustered and highly correlated. In addition we show that the clustering ratio can be reached when the number k of variables per constraints goes to infinity by the so-called Generalized Unit Clause heuristic

  5. Protocol for Work place adjusted Intelligent physical exercise reducing Musculoskeletal pain in Shoulder and neck (VIMS: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feveile Helene

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neck and shoulder complaints are common among employees in sedentary occupations characterized by intensive computer use. Specific strength training is a promising type of physical exercise for relieving neck and shoulder pain in office workers. However, the optimal combination of frequency and exercise duration, as well as the importance of exercise supervision, is unknown. The VIMS study investigates in a cluster randomized controlled design the effectiveness of different time wise combinations of specific strength training with identical accumulated volume, and the relevance of training supervision for safe and effective training. Methods/design A cluster randomized controlled trial of 20 weeks duration where employed office workers are randomized to 1 × 60 min, 3 × 20 min, 9 × 7 min per week of specific strength training with training supervision, to 3 × 20 min per week of specific strength training with a minimal amount of training supervision, or to a reference group without training. A questionnaire will be sent to 2000 employees in jobs characterized by intensive computer work. Employees with cardiovascular disease, trauma, hypertension, or serious chronic disease will be excluded. The main outcome measure is pain in the neck and shoulders at week 20. Trial Registration The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01027390.

  6. Snoezelen, structured reminiscence therapy and 10-minutes activation in long term care residents with dementia (WISDE: study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Becker Christiane

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background People with dementia are often inapproachable due to symptoms of their illness. Therefore nurses should establish relationships with dementia patients via their remaining resources and facilitate communication. In order to achieve this, different targeted non-pharmacological interventions are recommended and practiced. However there is no sufficient evidence about the efficacy of most of these interventions. A number of publications highlight the urgent need for methodological sound studies so that more robust conclusions may be drawn. Methods/Design The trial is designed as a cluster randomized controlled trial with 20 nursing homes in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt (Germany as the units of randomization. Nursing homes will be randomly allocated into 4 study groups consisting of 5 clusters and 90 residents: snoezelen, structured reminiscence therapy, 10-minutes activation or unstructured verbal communication (control group. The purpose is to determine whether the interventions are effective to reduce apathy in long-term care residents with dementia (N = 360 as the main outcome measure. Assessments will be done at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months after beginning of the interventions. Discussion This trial will particularly contribute to the evidence on efficacy of non-pharmacological interventions in dementia care. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00653731

  7. The conflict between randomized clinical trials and the therapeutic obligation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gifford, F

    1986-11-01

    The central dilemma concerning randomized clinical trials (RCTs) arises out of some simple facts about causal methodology (RCTs are the best way to generate the reliable causal knowledge necessary for optimally-informed action) and a prima facie plausible principle concerning how physicians should treat their patients (always do what it is most reasonable to believe will be best for the patient). A number of arguments related to this in the literature are considered. Attempts to avoid the dilemma fail. Appeals to informed consent and mechanisms for minimizing the resulting harm are important for policy, but informed consent is problematic and mechanisms for minimization of harm do not address the dilemma. Appeals to some sort of contract model of justification are promising and illuminating.

  8. Philosophers assess randomized clinical trials: the need for dialogue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miké, V

    1989-09-01

    In recent years a growing number of professional philosophers have joined in the controversy over ethical aspects of randomized clinical trials (RCTs). Morally questionable in their utilitarian approach, RCTs are claimed by some to be in direct violation of the second form of Kant's Categorical Imperative. But the arguments used in these critiques at times derive from a lack of insight into basic statistical procedures and the realities of the biomedical research process. Presented to physicians and other nonspecialists, including the lay public, such distortions can be harmful. Given the great complexity of statistical methodology and the anomalous nature of concepts of evidence, more sustained input into the interdisciplinary dialogue is needed from the statistical profession.

  9. Generalizing Evidence From Randomized Clinical Trials to Target Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Stephen R.; Stuart, Elizabeth A.

    2010-01-01

    Properly planned and conducted randomized clinical trials remain susceptible to a lack of external validity. The authors illustrate a model-based method to standardize observed trial results to a specified target population using a seminal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment trial, and they provide Monte Carlo simulation evidence supporting the method. The example trial enrolled 1,156 HIV-infected adult men and women in the United States in 1996, randomly assigned 577 to a highly active antiretroviral therapy and 579 to a largely ineffective combination therapy, and followed participants for 52 weeks. The target population was US people infected with HIV in 2006, as estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Results from the trial apply, albeit muted by 12%, to the target population, under the assumption that the authors have measured and correctly modeled the determinants of selection that reflect heterogeneity in the treatment effect. In simulations with a heterogeneous treatment effect, a conventional intent-to-treat estimate was biased with poor confidence limit coverage, but the proposed estimate was largely unbiased with appropriate confidence limit coverage. The proposed method standardizes observed trial results to a specified target population and thereby provides information regarding the generalizability of trial results. PMID:20547574

  10. Intervention effects on physical activity: the HEIA study - a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Although school-based interventions to promote physical activity in adolescents have been suggested in several recent reviews, questions have been raised regarding the effects of the strategies and the methodology applied and for whom the interventions are effective. The aim of the present study was to investigate effects of a school-based intervention program: the HEalth in Adolescents (HEIA) study, on change in physical activity, and furthermore, to explore whether potential effects varied by gender, weight status, initial physical activity level and parental education level. Methods This was a cluster randomized controlled 20 month intervention study which included 700 11-year-olds. Main outcome-variable was mean count per minute (cpm) derived from ActiGraph accelerometers (Model 7164/GT1M). Weight and height were measured objectively. Adolescents reported their pubertal status in a questionnaire and parents reported their education level on the consent form. Linear mixed models were used to test intervention effects and to account for the clustering effect of sampling by school. Results The present study showed an intervention effect on overall physical activity at the level of p = 0.05 with a net effect of 50 cpm increase from baseline to post intervention in favour of the intervention group (95% CI −0.4, 100). Subgroup analyses showed that the effect appeared to be more profound among girls (Est 65 cpm, CI 5, 124, p = 0.03) and among participants in the low-activity group (Est 92 cpm, CI 41, 142, p activity group, respectively. Furthermore, the intervention affected physical activity among the normal weight group more positively than among the overweight, and participants with parents having 13–16 years of education more positively than participants with parents having either a lower or higher number of years of education. The intervention seemed to succeed in reducing time spent sedentary among girls but not among boys. Conclusions A

  11. Crouch gait patterns defined using k-means cluster analysis are related to underlying clinical pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozumalski, Adam; Schwartz, Michael H

    2009-08-01

    In this study a gait classification method was developed and applied to subjects with Cerebral palsy who walk with excessive knee flexion at initial contact. Sagittal plane gait data, simplified using the gait features method, is used as input into a k-means cluster analysis to determine homogeneous groups. Several clinical domains were explored to determine if the clusters are related to underlying pathology. These domains included age, joint range-of-motion, strength, selective motor control, and spasticity. Principal component analysis is used to determine one overall score for each of the multi-joint domains (strength, selective motor control, and spasticity). The current study shows that there are five clusters among children with excessive knee flexion at initial contact. These clusters were labeled, in order of increasing gait pathology: (1) mild crouch with mild equinus, (2) moderate crouch, (3) moderate crouch with anterior pelvic tilt, (4) moderate crouch with equinus, and (5) severe crouch. Further analysis showed that age, range-of-motion, strength, selective motor control, and spasticity were significantly different between the clusters (p<0.001). The general tendency was for the clinical domains to worsen as gait pathology increased. This new classification tool can be used to define homogeneous groups of subjects in crouch gait, which can help guide treatment decisions and outcomes assessment.

  12. Improved HIV and TB Knowledge and Competence Among Mid-level Providers in a Cluster-Randomized Trial of One-on-One Mentorship for Task Shifting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naikoba, Sarah; Senjovu, Kaggwa D; Mugabe, Pallen; McCarthy, Carey F; Riley, Patricia L; Kadengye, Damazo T; Dalal, Shona

    2017-08-15

    Health worker shortages pose a challenge to the scale up of HIV care and treatment in Uganda. Training mid-level providers (MLPs) in the provision of HIV and tuberculosis (TB) treatment can expand existing health workforce capacity and access to HIV services. We conducted a cluster-randomized trial of on-site clinical mentorship for HIV and TB care at 10 health facilities in rural Uganda. Twenty MLPs at 5 randomly assigned to an intervention facilities received 8 hours a week of one-on-one mentorship, every 6 weeks over a 9-month period; and another 20 at 5 control facilities received no clinical mentorship. Enrolled MLPs' clinical knowledge and competence in management of HIV and TB was assessed using case scenarios and clinical observation at baseline and immediately after the 9-month intervention. The performance of the study health facilities on 8 TB and HIV care indicators was tracked over the 9-month period using facility patient records. Thirty-nine out 40 enrolled MLPs had case scenario and clinical observation scores for both the baseline and end of intervention assessments. Mentorship was associated with a mean score increase of 16.7% (95% confidence interval: 9.8 to 23.6, P shifting.

  13. Active versus passive adverse event reporting after pediatric chiropractic manual therapy: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohlman, Katherine A; Carroll, Linda; Tsuyuki, Ross T; Hartling, Lisa; Vohra, Sunita

    2017-12-01

    Patient safety performance can be assessed with several systems, including passive and active surveillance. Passive surveillance systems provide opportunity for health care personnel to confidentially and voluntarily report incidents, including adverse events, occurring in their work environment. Active surveillance systems systematically monitor patient encounters to seek detailed information about adverse events that occur in work environments; unlike passive surveillance, active surveillance allows for collection of both numerator (number of adverse events) and denominator (number of patients seen) data. Chiropractic manual therapy is commonly used in both adults and children, yet few studies have been done to evaluate the safety of chiropractic manual therapy for children. In an attempt to evaluate this, this study will compare adverse event reporting in passive versus active surveillance systems after chiropractic manual therapy in the pediatric population. This cluster randomized controlled trial aims to enroll 70 physicians of chiropractic (unit of randomization) to either passive or active surveillance system to report adverse events that occur after treatment for 60 consecutive pediatric (13 years of age and younger) patient visits (unit of analysis). A modified enrollment process with a two-phase consent procedure will be implemented to maintain provider blinding and minimize dropouts. The first phase of consent is for the provider to confirm their interest in a trial investigating the safety of chiropractic manual therapy. The second phase ensures that they understand the specific requirements for the group to which they were randomized. Percentages, incidence estimates, and 95% confidence intervals will be used to describe the count of reported adverse events in each group. The primary outcome will be the number and quality of the adverse event reports in the active versus the passive surveillance group. With 80% power and 5% one-sided significance

  14. Increasing students’ physical activity during school physical education: rationale and protocol for the SELF-FIT cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy S. Ha

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Self-determined Exercise and Learning For FITness (SELF-FIT is a multi-component school-based intervention based on tenets of self-determination theory. SELF-FIT aims to increase students’ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA during physical education lessons, and enhance their autonomous motivation towards fitness activities. Using a cluster randomized controlled trial, we aim to examine the effects of the intervention on students’ MVPA during school physical education. Methods Secondary 2 students (approximately aged 14 years from 26 classes in 26 different schools will be recruited. After baseline assessments, students will be randomized into either the experimental group or wait-list control group using a matched-pair randomization. Teachers allocated to the experimental group will attend two half-day workshops and deliver the SELF-FIT intervention for 8 weeks. The main intervention components include training teachers to teach in more need supportive ways, and conducting fitness exercises using a fitness dice with interchangeable faces. Other motivational components, such as playing music during classes, are also included. The primary outcome of the trial is students’ MVPA during PE lessons. Secondary outcomes include students’ leisure-time MVPA, perceived need support from teachers, need satisfaction, autonomous motivation towards physical education, intention to engage in physical activity, psychological well-being, and health-related fitness (cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness. Quantitative data will be analyzed using multilevel modeling approaches. Focus group interviews will also be conducted to assess students’ perceptions of the intervention. Discussion The SELF-FIT intervention has been designed to improve students’ health and well-being by using high-intensity activities in classes delivered by teachers who have been trained to be autonomy needs supportive. If successful, scalable

  15. Electronic health record-based patient identification and individualized mailed outreach for primary cardiovascular disease prevention: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persell, Stephen D; Lloyd-Jones, Donald M; Friesema, Elisha M; Cooper, Andrew J; Baker, David W

    2013-04-01

    Many individuals at higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) do not receive recommended treatments. Prior interventions using personalized risk information to promote prevention did not test clinic-wide effectiveness. To perform a 9-month cluster-randomized trial, comparing a strategy of electronic health record-based identification of patients with increased CVD risk and individualized mailed outreach to usual care. Patients of participating physicians with a Framingham Risk Score of at least 5 %, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol level above guideline threshold for drug treatment, and not prescribed a lipid-lowering medication were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. Patients of physicians randomized to the intervention group were mailed individualized CVD risk messages that described benefits of using a statin (and controlling hypertension or quitting smoking when relevant). The primary outcome was occurrence of a LDL-cholesterol level, repeated in routine practice, that was at least 30 mg/dl lower than prior. A secondary outcome was lipid-lowering drug prescribing. Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01286311. Fourteen physicians with 218 patients were randomized to intervention, and 15 physicians with 217 patients to control. The mean patient age was 60.7 years and 77% were male. There was no difference in the primary outcome (11.0 % vs. 11.1 %, OR 0.99, 95 % CI 0.56-1.74, P = 0.96), but intervention group patients were twice as likely to receive a prescription for lipid-lowering medication (11.9 %, vs. 6.0 %, OR 2.13, 95 % CI 1.05-4.32, p = 0.038). In post hoc analysis with extended follow-up to 18 months, the primary outcome occurred more often in the intervention group (22.5 % vs. 16.1 %, OR 1.59, 95 % CI 1.05-2.41, P = 0.029). In this effectiveness trial, individualized mailed CVD risk messages increased the frequency of new lipid-lowering drug prescriptions, but we observed no difference in proportions lowering LDL

  16. Healthy lifestyle promotion in primary schools through the board game Kaledo: a pilot cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viggiano, Emanuela; Viggiano, Alessandro; Di Costanzo, Anna; Viggiano, Adela; Viggiano, Andrea; Andreozzi, Eleonora; Romano, Vincenzo; Vicidomini, Claudia; Di Tuoro, Daniela; Gargano, Giuliana; Incarnato, Lucia; Fevola, Celeste; Volta, Pietro; Tolomeo, Caterina; Scianni, Giuseppina; Santangelo, Caterina; Apicella, Maria; Battista, Roberta; Raia, Maddalena; Valentino, Ilaria; Palumbo, Marianna; Messina, Giovanni; Messina, Antonietta; Monda, Marcellino; De Luca, Bruno; Amaro, Salvatore

    2018-01-20

    The board game Kaledo was proven to be effective in improving nutrition knowledge and in modifying dietary behavior in students attending middle and high school. The present pilot study aims to reproduce these results in younger students (7-11 years old) attending primary school. A total of 1313 children from ten schools were recruited to participate in the present study. Participants were randomized into two groups: (1) the treatment group which consisted of playing Kaledo over 20 sessions and (2) the no intervention group. Anthropometric measures were carried out for both groups at baseline (prior to any treatment) and at two follow-up post-assessments (8 and 18 months). All the participants completed a questionnaire concerning physical activity and a 1-week food diary at each assessment. The primary outcomes were (i) BMI z-score, (ii) scores on physical activity, and (iii) scores on a dietary questionnaire. BMI z-score was significantly lower in the treated group compared to the control group at 8 months. Frequency and duration of self-reported physical activity were also significantly augmented in the treated group compared to the control group at both post-assessments. Moreover, a significant increase in the consumption of healthy food and a significant decrease in junk food intake were observed in the treated group. The present results confirm the efficacy of Kaledo in younger students in primary schools, and it can be used as a useful nutritional tool for obesity prevention programs in children. What is Known: • Kaledo is a new educational board game to improve nutrition knowledge and to promote a healthy lifestyle. • In two cluster randomized trials conducted in Campania region (Italy), we showed that Kaledo could improve nutrition knowledge and dietary behavior and have a positive effect on the BMI z-score in children with age ranging from 9 to 14 years old attending school. • Kaledo may be used as an effective tool for obesity prevention

  17. A cluster-randomized trial of task shifting and blood pressure control in Ghana: study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogedegbe, Gbenga; Plange-Rhule, Jacob; Gyamfi, Joyce; Chaplin, William; Ntim, Michael; Apusiga, Kingsley; Khurshid, Kiran; Cooper, Richard

    2014-06-12

    Countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are experiencing an epidemic of cardiovascular disease (CVD) propelled by rapidly increasing rates of hypertension. Barriers to hypertension control in SSA include poor access to care and high out-of-pocket costs. Although SSA bears 24% of the global disease burden, it has only 3% of the global health workforce. Given such limited resources, cost-effective strategies, such as task shifting, are needed to mitigate the rising CVD epidemic in SSA. Ghana, a country in SSA with an established community health worker program integrated within a national health insurance scheme provides an ideal platform to evaluate implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) task-shifting strategy. This study will evaluate the comparative effectiveness of the implementation of the WHO Package targeted at CV risk assessment versus provision of health insurance coverage, on blood pressure (BP) reduction. Using a cluster randomized design, 32 community health centers (CHCs) and district hospitals in Ghana will be randomized to either the intervention group (16 CHCs) or the control group (16 CHCs). A total of 640 patients with uncomplicated hypertension (BP 140-179/90-99 mm Hg and absence of target organ damage) will be enrolled in this study (20 patients per CHC). The intervention consists of WHO Package of CV risk assessment, patient education, initiation and titration of antihypertensive medications, behavioral counseling on lifestyle behaviors, and medication adherence every three months for 12 months. The primary outcome is the mean change in systolic BP from baseline to 12 months. The secondary outcomes are rates of BP control at 12 months; levels of physical activity, percent change in weight, and dietary intake of fruits and vegetables at 12 months; and sustainability of intervention effects at 24 months. All outcomes will be assessed at baseline, six months and 12 months. Trained community health nurses will deliver the intervention as

  18. Enhancing a sustainable healthy working life: design of a clustered randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koolhaas Wendy

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To improve a sustainable healthy working life, we have developed the intervention 'Staying healthy at work', which endeavours to enhance work participation of employees aged 45 years and older by increasing their problem-solving capacity and stimulating their awareness of their role and responsibility towards a healthy working life. This research study aims to evaluate the process and the effectiveness of the intervention compared with care as usual. Methods/design The study is a cluster-randomized controlled trial design (randomized at the supervisor level, with a 1-year follow-up. Workers aged 45 years and older have been enrolled in the study. Workers in the intervention group are receiving the intervention 'Staying healthy at work'. The main focus of the intervention is to promote a healthy working life of ageing workers by: (1 changing workers awareness and behaviour, by emphasizing their own decisive role in attaining goals; (2 improving the supervisors' ability to support workers in taking the necessary action, by means of enhancing knowledge and competence; and (3 enhancing the use of the human resource professionals and the occupational health tools available within the organization. The supervisors in the intervention group have been trained how to present themselves as a source of support for the worker. Workers in the control group are receiving care as usual; supervisors in the control group have not participated in the training. Measurements have been taken at baseline and will be followed up at 3, 6 and 12 months. The primary outcome measures are vitality, work ability and productivity. The secondary outcomes measures include fatigue, job strain, work attitude, self-efficacy and work engagement. A process evaluation will be conducted at both the supervisor and the worker levels, and satisfaction with the content of the intervention will be assessed. Discussion The intervention 'Staying healthy at work' has the

  19. Economic evaluation of neonatal care packages in a cluster-randomized controlled trial in Sylhet, Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeFevre, Amnesty E; Shillcutt, Samuel D; Waters, Hugh R; Haider, Sabbir; El Arifeen, Shams; Mannan, Ishtiaq; Seraji, Habibur R; Shah, Rasheduzzaman; Darmstadt, Gary L; Wall, Steve N; Williams, Emma K; Black, Robert E; Santosham, Mathuram; Baqui, Abdullah H

    2013-10-01

    To evaluate and compare the cost-effectiveness of two strategies for neonatal care in Sylhet division, Bangladesh. In a cluster-randomized controlled trial, two strategies for neonatal care--known as home care and community care--were compared with existing services. For each study arm, economic costs were estimated from a societal perspective, inclusive of programme costs, provider costs and household out-of-pocket payments on care-seeking. Neonatal mortality in each study arm was determined through household surveys. The incremental cost-effectiveness of each strategy--compared with that of the pre-existing levels of maternal and neonatal care--was then estimated. The levels of uncertainty in our estimates were quantified through probabilistic sensitivity analysis. The incremental programme costs of implementing the home-care package were 2939 (95% confidence interval, CI: 1833-7616) United States dollars (US$) per neonatal death averted and US$ 103.49 (95% CI: 64.72-265.93) per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted. The corresponding total societal costs were US$ 2971 (95% CI: 1844-7628) and US$ 104.62 (95% CI: 65.15-266.60), respectively. The home-care package was cost-effective--with 95% certainty--if healthy life years were valued above US$ 214 per DALY averted. In contrast, implementation of the community-care strategy led to no reduction in neonatal mortality and did not appear to be cost-effective. The home-care package represents a highly cost-effective intervention strategy that should be considered for replication and scale-up in Bangladesh and similar settings elsewhere.

  20. Effectiveness of the Spirometry 360 Quality Improvement Program for Improving Asthma Care: A Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangione-Smith, Rita; Zhou, Chuan; Corwin, Michael J; Taylor, James A; Rice, Fiona; Stout, James W

    To determine the effectiveness of the Spirometry 360 distance learning quality improvement (QI) program for enhancing the processes and outcomes of care for children with asthma. Cluster randomized controlled trial involving 25 matched pairs of pediatric primary care practices. Practices were recruited from 2 practice-based research networks: the Slone Center Office-based Research Network at Boston University, Boston, Mass, and the Puget Sound Pediatric Research Network, Seattle, Wash. Study participants included providers from one of the 50 enrolled pediatric practices and 626 of their patients with asthma. Process measures assessed included spirometry test quality and appropriate prescription of asthma controller medications. Outcome measures included asthma-specific health-related quality of life, and outpatient, emergency department, and inpatient utilization for asthma. At baseline, 25.4% of spirometry tests performed in control practices and 50.4% of tests performed in intervention practices were of high quality. During the 6-month postintervention period, 28.7% of spirometry tests performed in control practices and 49.9% of tests performed in intervention practices were of high quality. The adjusted difference-of-differences analysis revealed no intervention effect on spirometry test quality. Adjusted differences-of-differences analysis also revealed no intervention effect on appropriate use of controller medications or any of the parent- or patient-reported outcomes examined. In this study, the Spirometry 360 distance learning QI program was ineffective in improving spirometry test quality or parent- or patient-reported outcomes. QI programs like the one assessed here may need to focus on practices with lower baseline performance levels or may need to be tailored for those with higher baseline performance. Copyright © 2017 Academic Pediatric Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Effects of the X:IT smoking intervention: a school-based cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Anette; Krølner, Rikker; Bast, Lotus Sofie; Thygesen, Lau Caspar; Due, Pernille

    2015-12-01

    Uptake of smoking in adolescence is still of major public health concern. Evaluations of school-based programmes for smoking prevention show mixed results. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of X:IT, a multi-component school-based programme to prevent adolescent smoking. Data from a Danish cluster randomized trial included 4041 year-7 students (mean age: 12.5) from 51 intervention and 43 control schools. Outcome measure 'current smoking' was dichotomized into smoking daily, weekly, monthly or more seldom vs do not smoke. Analyses were adjusted for baseline covariates: sex, family socioeconomic position (SEP), best friend's smoking and parental smoking. We performed multilevel, logistic regression analyses of available cases and intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses, replacing missing outcome values by multiple imputation. At baseline, 4.7% and 6.8% of the students at the intervention and the control schools smoked, respectively. After 1 year of the intervention, the prevalence was 7.9% and 10.7%, respectively. At follow-up, 553 students (13.7%) did not answer the question on smoking. Available case analyses: crude odds ratios (OR) for smoking at intervention schools compared with control schools: 0.65 (0.48-0.88) and adjusted: 0.70 (0.47-1.04). ITT analyses: crude OR for smoking at intervention schools compared with control schools: 0.67 (0.50-0.89) and adjusted: 0.61 (0.45-0.82). Students at intervention schools had a lower risk of smoking after a year of intervention in year 7. This multi-component intervention involving educational, parental and context-related intervention components seems to be efficient in lowering or postponing smoking uptake in Danish adolescents. © The Author 2015; all rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.

  2. How effective is the comprehensive approach to rehabilitation (CARe) methodology? A cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitter, Neis; Roeg, Diana; van Assen, Marcel; van Nieuwenhuizen, Chijs; van Weeghel, Jaap

    2017-12-11

    The CARe methodology aims to improve the quality of life of people with severe mental illness by supporting them in realizing their goals, handling their vulnerability and improving the quality of their social environment. This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of the CARe methodology for people with severe mental illness on their quality of life, personal recovery, participation, hope, empowerment, self-efficacy beliefs and unmet needs. A cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) was conducted in 14 teams of three organizations for sheltered and supported housing in the Netherlands. Teams in the intervention group received training in the CARe methodology. Teams in the control group continued working according to care as usual. Questionnaires were filled out at baseline, after 10 months and after 20 months. A total of 263 clients participated in the study. Quality of life increased in both groups, however, no differences between the intervention and control group were found. Recovery and social functioning did not change over time. Regarding the secondary outcomes, the number of unmet needs decreased in both groups. All intervention teams received the complete training program. The model fidelity at T1 was 53.4% for the intervention group and 33.4% for the control group. At T2 this was 50.6% for the intervention group and 37.2% for the control group. All clients improved in quality of life. However we did not find significant differences between the clients of the both conditions on any outcome measure. Possible explanations of these results are: the difficulty to implement rehabilitation-supporting practice, the content of the methodology and the difficulty to improve the lives of a group of people with longstanding and severe impairments in a relatively short period. More research is needed on how to improve effects of rehabilitation trainings in practice and on outcome level. ISRCTN77355880 , retrospectively registered (05/07/2013).

  3. Implementing Resistance Training in Secondary Schools: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Sarah G; Smith, Jordan J; Morgan, Philip J; Peralta, Louisa R; Hilland, Toni A; Eather, Narelle; Lonsdale, Chris; Okely, Anthony D; Plotnikoff, Ronald C; Salmon, J O; Dewar, Deborah L; Estabrooks, Paul A; Pollock, Emma; Finn, Tara L; Lubans, David R

    2018-01-01

    Guidelines recommend that young people engage in muscle-strengthening activities on at least 3 d·wk. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a school-based intervention focused on resistance training (RT) for adolescents. The "Resistance Training for Teens" intervention was evaluated using a cluster-randomized, controlled trial with 607 adolescents (50.1% girls; 14.1 ± 0.5 yr) from 16 secondary schools. Teachers were trained to deliver the intervention, which included the following: (i) an interactive student seminar; (ii) a structured physical activity program, focused on RT; (iii) lunchtime fitness sessions; and (iv) Web-based smartphone apps. The primary outcome was muscular fitness (MF) and secondary outcomes included body mass index, RT skill competency, flexibility, physical activity, self-efficacy, and motivation. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 6 months (postprogram; primary end point), and 12 months (follow-up). Outcomes were assessed using linear mixed models, with three potential moderators tested using interaction terms (and subgroup analyses where appropriate). For the primary outcome (MF), a group-time effect was observed at 6 months for the upper body (2.0 repetitions; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.8-3.2), but not the lower body (-1.4 cm; 95% CI, -4.7-1.9). At 6 months, there were intervention effects for RT skill competency and self-efficacy, but no other secondary outcomes. Effects for upper body MF and RT skill competency were sustained at 12 months. Despite overall no effect for body mass index, there was a group-time effect at 12 months among students who were overweight/obese at baseline (-0.55 kg·m; 95% CI, -1.01 to -0.08). The school-based RT intervention resulted in immediate and sustained improvements in upper body MF and RT skill competency, demonstrating an effective and scalable approach to delivering RT within secondary schools.

  4. Updated teaching techniques improve CPR performance measures: a cluster randomized, controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ettl, Florian; Testori, Christoph; Weiser, Christoph; Fleischhackl, Sabine; Mayer-Stickler, Monika; Herkner, Harald; Schreiber, Wolfgang; Fleischhackl, Roman

    2011-06-01

    The first-aid training necessary for obtaining a drivers license in Austria has a regulated and predefined curriculum but has been targeted for the implementation of a new course structure with less theoretical input, repetitive training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and structured presentations using innovative media. The standard and a new course design were compared with a prospective, participant- and observer-blinded, cluster-randomized controlled study. Six months after the initial training, we evaluated the confidence of the 66 participants in their skills, CPR effectiveness parameters and correctness of their actions. The median self-confidence was significantly higher in the interventional group [IG, visual analogue scale (VAS:"0" not-confident at all,"100" highly confident):57] than in the control group (CG, VAS:41). The mean chest compression rate in the IG (98/min) was closer to the recommended 100 bpm than in the CG (110/min). The time to the first chest compression (IG:25s, CG:36s) and time to first defibrillator shock (IG:86s, CG:92s) were significantly shorter in the IG. Furthermore, the IG participants were safer in their handling of the defibrillator and started with countermeasures against developing shock more often. The management of an unconscious person and of heavy bleeding did not show a difference between the two groups even after shortening the lecture time. Motivation and self-confidence as well as skill retention after six months were shown to be dependent on the teaching methods and the time for practical training. Courses may be reorganized and content rescheduled, even within predefined curricula, to improve course outcomes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Group Music Therapy as a Preventive Intervention for Young People at Risk: Cluster-Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gold, Christian; Saarikallio, Suvi; Crooke, Alexander Hew Dale; McFerran, Katrina Skewes

    2017-07-01

    Music forms an important part of the lives and identities of adolescents and may have positive or negative mental health implications. Music therapy can be effective for mental disorders such as depression, but its preventive potential is unknown. The aim of this study was to examine whether group music therapy (GMT) is an effective intervention for young people who may be at risk of developing mental health problems, as indicated via unhealthy music use. The main question was whether GMT can reduce unhealthy uses of music and increase potentials for healthy uses of music, compared to self-directed music listening (SDML). We were also interested in effects of GMT on depressive symptoms, psychosocial well-being, rumination, and reflection. In an exploratory cluster-randomized trial in Australian schools, 100 students with self-reported unhealthy music use were invited to GMT (weekly sessions over 8 weeks) or SDML. Changes in the Healthy-Unhealthy Music Scale (HUMS) and mental health outcomes were measured over 3 months. Both interventions were well accepted. No effects were found between GMT and SDML (all p > 0.05); both groups tended to show small improvements over time. Younger participants benefited more from GMT, and older ones more from SDML (p = 0.018). GMT was associated with similar changes as SDML. Further research is needed to improve the processes of selecting participants for targeted interventions; to determine optimal dosage; and to provide more reliable evidence of effects of music-based interventions for adolescents. © the American Music Therapy Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  6. Mental health first aid training for high school teachers: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorm, Anthony F; Kitchener, Betty A; Sawyer, Michael G; Scales, Helen; Cvetkovski, Stefan

    2010-06-24

    Mental disorders often have their first onset during adolescence. For this reason, high school teachers are in a good position to provide initial assistance to students who are developing mental health problems. To improve the skills of teachers in this area, a Mental Health First Aid training course was modified to be suitable for high school teachers and evaluated in a cluster randomized trial. The trial was carried out with teachers in South Australian high schools. Teachers at 7 schools received training and those at another 7 were wait-listed for future training. The effects of the training on teachers were evaluated using questionnaires pre- and post-training and at 6 months follow-up. The questionnaires assessed mental health knowledge, stigmatizing attitudes, confidence in providing help to others, help actually provided, school policy and procedures, and teacher mental health. The indirect effects on students were evaluated using questionnaires at pre-training and at follow-up which assessed any mental health help and information received from school staff, and also the mental health of the student. The training increased teachers' knowledge, changed beliefs about treatment to be more like those of mental health professionals, reduced some aspects of stigma, and increased confidence in providing help to students and colleagues. There was an indirect effect on students, who reported receiving more mental health information from school staff. Most of the changes found were sustained 6 months after training. However, no effects were found on teachers' individual support towards students with mental health problems or on student mental health. Mental Health First Aid training has positive effects on teachers' mental health knowledge, attitudes, confidence and some aspects of their behaviour. ACTRN12608000561381.

  7. Short stick exercises for fall prevention among older adults: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokoi, Katsushi; Yoshimasu, Kouichi; Takemura, Shigeki; Fukumoto, Jin; Kurasawa, Shigeki; Miyashita, Kazuhisa

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the effects of short stick exercise (SSEs) on fall prevention and improvement of physical function in older adults. A cluster randomized trial was conducted in five residential care facilities. The intervention group (n = 51) practiced SSEs for six months, followed by routine care for six more months. The control group (n = 54) received ordinary care for 12 months. The primary outcome measure was the number of fallers, taking into account the time to first fall using the Kaplan-Meier method. The secondary outcome measures were physical and mental functions. The number of fallers was significantly lower in the intervention group (n = 6) than in the control group (n = 16) during the 12 months. The adjusted hazard ratio for a first fall in the intervention group compared with the control group was 0.15 (CI, 0.03 to 0.74, p = 0.02). The fall-free period was significantly longer in the intervention group than in controls (mean ± SD, 10.1 ± 3.0 versus 9.0 ± 4.1 months, p = 0.027). The functional reach and sit and reach tests were significantly improved at three and six months. The SSEs appeared effective for fall prevention and improvement of physical function in older adults. Implications for Rehabilitation The newly developed short stick exercises appear an effective means of reducing falls among older adults in residential care facilities. The short stick exercises seem to have an immediate effect on improving physical functions. Effects gained by performing the short stick exercises, such as static balance, flexibility and agility may last for six months. The short stick exercises were found to be easy for older adults to practice continuously in residential care facilities.

  8. Mental health first aid training for high school teachers: a cluster randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorm Anthony F

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mental disorders often have their first onset during adolescence. For this reason, high school teachers are in a good position to provide initial assistance to students who are developing mental health problems. To improve the skills of teachers in this area, a Mental Health First Aid training course was modified to be suitable for high school teachers and evaluated in a cluster randomized trial. Methods The trial was carried out with teachers in South Australian high schools. Teachers at 7 schools received training and those at another 7 were wait-listed for future training. The effects of the training on teachers were evaluated using questionnaires pre- and post-training and at 6 months follow-up. The questionnaires assessed mental health knowledge, stigmatizing attitudes, confidence in providing help to others, help actually provided, school policy and procedures, and teacher mental health. The indirect effects on students were evaluated using questionnaires at pre-training and at follow-up which assessed any mental health help and information received from school staff, and also the mental health of the student. Results The training increased teachers' knowledge, changed beliefs about treatment to be more like those of mental health professionals, reduced some aspects of stigma, and increased confidence in providing help to students and colleagues. There was an indirect effect on students, who reported receiving more mental health information from school staff. Most of the changes found were sustained 6 months after training. However, no effects were found on teachers' individual support towards students with mental health problems or on student mental health. Conclusions Mental Health First Aid training has positive effects on teachers' mental health knowledge, attitudes, confidence and some aspects of their behaviour. Trial registration ACTRN12608000561381

  9. Improving Early Adolescent Girls' Motor Skill: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lander, Natalie; Morgan, Philip J; Salmon, J O; Barnett, Lisa M

    2017-12-01

    Physical activity (PA) levels decline substantially during adolescence and are consistently lower in girls. Competency in a range of fundamental movement skills (FMSs) may serve as a protective factor for the decline in PA typically observed in adolescent girls; yet, girls' mastery in FMS is low. Although interventions can improve FMS, there is a lack of interventions targeting girls, and very few are conducted in high schools. In addition, interventions are usually conducted by researchers, not teachers, and thus have little chance of being embedded into curricula. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a school-based intervention, delivered by teachers, in improving adolescent girls' FMS. Four all-girls Australian secondary schools were recruited and randomized into intervention or control groups. In total, 190 year 7 girls (103 control/87 intervention; mean age, 12.4 ± 0.3 yr) completed baseline and posttest measures at 12 wk. Six FMS (i.e., catch, throw, kick, jump, leap, and dodge) were measured using the Victorian FMS Assessment instrument. Mixed models with posttest skill (i.e., locomotor, object control, and total skill) as the outcome, adjusting for baseline skill, intervention and control status, and relevant covariates, as well as accounting for clustering at school and class level, were used to assess the intervention impact. There were significant intervention effects, and large effect sizes (Cohen d) noted in locomotor (P = 0.04, t = 5.15, d = 1.6), object control (P < 0.001, t = 11.06, d = 0.83), and total skill (P = 0.02, t = 7.22, d = 1.36). Teachers adequately trained in authentic assessment and student-centered instruction can significantly improve the FMS competency of early adolescent girls. Therefore, comprehensive teacher training should be viewed as an integral component of future school-based interventions.

  10. Reducing the use of sugar in public schools: a randomized cluster trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Rita Adriana Gomes de; Mediano, Mauro Felippe Felix; Souza, Amanda de Moura; Sichieri, Rosely

    2013-08-01

    To test the efficacy of nutritional guidelines for school lunch cooks aiming to reduce added sugar in school meals and their own sugar intake. A controlled randomized cluster trial was carried out in twenty public schools in the municipality of Niteroi in Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Brazil, from March to December 2007. A nutrition educational program was implemented in the schools in question through messages, activities and printed educational materials encouraging reduced levels of added sugar in school meals and in the school lunch cooks' own intake. The reduced availability of added sugar in schools was evaluated using spreadsheets including data on the monthly use of food item supplies. The cooks' individual food intake was evaluated by a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements were taken according to standardized techniques and variation in weight was measured throughout the duration of the study. There was a more marked reduction in the intervention schools compared to the control schools (-6.0 kg versus 0.34 kg), but no statistically significant difference (p = 0.21), although the study power was low. Both groups of school lunch cooks showed a reduction in the consumption of sweets and sweetened beverages, but the difference in sugar intake was not statistically significant. Weight loss and a reduction in total energy consumption occurred in both groups, but the difference between them was not statistically significant, and there was no alteration in the percentages of adequacy of macronutrients in relation to energy consumption. The strategy of reducing the use and consumption of sugar by school lunch cooks from public schools could not be proved to be effective.

  11. Cluster randomized trial to evaluate the impact of team training on surgical outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duclos, A; Peix, J L; Piriou, V; Occelli, P; Denis, A; Bourdy, S; Carty, M J; Gawande, A A; Debouck, F; Vacca, C; Lifante, J C; Colin, C

    2016-12-01

    The application of safety principles from the aviation industry to the operating room has offered hope in reducing surgical complications. This study aimed to assess the impact on major surgical complications of adding an aviation-based team training programme after checklist implementation. A prospective parallel-group cluster trial was undertaken between September 2011 and March 2013. Operating room teams from 31 hospitals were assigned randomly to participate in a team training programme focused on major concepts of crew resource management and checklist utilization. The primary outcome measure was the occurrence of any major adverse event, including death, during the hospital stay within the first 30 days after surgery. Using a difference-in-difference approach, the ratio of the odds ratios (ROR) was estimated to compare changes in surgical outcomes between intervention and control hospitals. Some 22 779 patients were enrolled, including 5934 before and 16 845 after team training implementation. The risk of major adverse events fell from 8·8 to 5·5 per cent in 16 intervention hospitals (adjusted odds ratio 0·57, 95 per cent c.i. 0·48 to 0·68; P trends revealed significant improvements among ten institutions, equally distributed across intervention and control hospitals. Surgical outcomes improved substantially, with no difference between trial arms. Successful implementation of an aviation-based team training programme appears to require modification and adaptation of its principles in the context of the the surgical milieu. Registration number: NCT01384474 (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov). © 2016 BJS Society Ltd Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Mindfulness-based prevention for eating disorders: A school-based cluster randomized controlled study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Melissa J; Wade, Tracey D

    2015-11-01

    Successful prevention of eating disorders represents an important goal due to damaging long-term impacts on health and well-being, modest treatment outcomes, and low treatment seeking among individuals at risk. Mindfulness-based approaches have received early support in the treatment of eating disorders, but have not been evaluated as a prevention strategy. This study aimed to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of a novel mindfulness-based intervention for reducing the risk of eating disorders among adolescent females, under both optimal (trained facilitator) and task-shifted (non-expert facilitator) conditions. A school-based cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted in which 19 classes of adolescent girls (N = 347) were allocated to a three-session mindfulness-based intervention, dissonance-based intervention, or classes as usual control. A subset of classes (N = 156) receiving expert facilitation were analyzed separately as a proxy for delivery under optimal conditions. Task-shifted facilitation showed no significant intervention effects across outcomes. Under optimal facilitation, students receiving mindfulness demonstrated significant reductions in weight and shape concern, dietary restraint, thin-ideal internalization, eating disorder symptoms, and psychosocial impairment relative to control by 6-month follow-up. Students receiving dissonance showed significant reductions in socio-cultural pressures. There were no statistically significant differences between the two interventions. Moderate intervention acceptability was reported by both students and teaching staff. Findings show promise for the application of mindfulness in the prevention of eating disorders; however, further work is required to increase both impact and acceptability, and to enable successful outcomes when delivered by less expert providers. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Community risk factors for ocular Chlamydia infection in Niger: pre-treatment results from a cluster-randomized trachoma trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdou Amza

    Full Text Available Trachoma control programs utilize mass azithromycin distributions to treat ocular Chlamydia trachomatis as part of an effort to eliminate this disease world-wide. But it remains unclear what the community-level risk factors are for infection.This cluster-randomized, controlled trial entered 48 randomly selected communities in a 2×2 factorial design evaluating the effect of different treatment frequencies and treatment coverage levels. A pretreatment census and examination established the prevalence of risk factors for clinical trachoma and ocular chlamydia infection including years of education of household head, distance to primary water source, presence of household latrine, and facial cleanliness (ocular discharge, nasal discharge, and presence of facial flies. Univariate and multivariate associations were tested using linear regression and Bayes model averaging.There were a total of 24,536 participants (4,484 children aged 0-5 years in 6,235 households in the study. Before treatment in May to July 2010, the community-level prevalence of active trachoma (TF or TI utilizing the World Health Organization [WHO] grading system was 26.0% (95% CI: 21.9% to 30.0% and the mean community-level prevalence of chlamydia infection by Amplicor PCR was 20.7% (95% CI: 16.5% to 24.9% in children aged 0-5 years. Univariate analysis showed that nasal discharge (0.29, 95% CI: 0.04 to 0.54; P = 0.03, presence of flies on the face (0.40, 95% CI: 0.17 to 0.64; P = 0.001, and years of formal education completed by the head of household (0.07, 95% CI: 0.07 to 0.13; P = 0.03 were independent risk factors for chlamydia infection. In multivariate analysis, facial flies (0.26, 95% CI: 0.02 to 0.49; P = 0.03 and years of formal education completed by the head of household (0.06, 95% CI: 0.008 to 0.11; P = 0.02 were associated risk factors for ocular chlamydial infection.We have found that the presence of facial flies and years of education of the head

  14. Effects of integrated chronic care models on hypertension outcomes and spending: a multi-town clustered randomized trial in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuting; Tang, Wenxi; Zhang, Yan; Liu, Lulu; Zhang, Liang

    2017-03-11

    Hypertension affects one billion people globally and is one of the leading risk factors for cardiovascular and renal diseases. However, hypertension management remains poor, especially in rural China. A clustered randomized controlled trial was conducted in six towns in China's Qianjiang county between 7/2012 and 6/2014, including 5462 hypertension patients above 35 years old. Six towns were randomly assigned to three groups: Group 1 had the integrated care model including a multidisciplinary team and continuous care coordination, Group 2 had both the integrated care model and provider-level financial incentives, and the control group had the usual care. Primary outcomes were systolic blood pressure and health-related quality of life measured by SF36; secondary outcomes included hypertension-related hospitalization rate and inpatient spending. Blood pressure was measured sixteen times bimonthly between 12/1/2011 and 6/30/2014, and quality of life was measured on 7/1/2012 and 6/30/2014. Inpatient data between 7/1/2010 and 8/31/2014 were used. This trial is registered at the World Health Organization's International Clinical Trials Registry, number ChiCTR-OOR-14005563. We found that the integrated care model effectively lowered blood pressure by 1.93 mmHg (95% CI 0.063-3.8), improved self-assessed health-related quality of life, and reduced the rate of hypertension-related hospitalization by 0.17 percentage points (95% CI 0.094-0.24). We also found that the provider-level financial contract further lowered blood pressure by 1.76 mmHg (95% CI 0.73-2.79) and reduced rates of hospitalization and inpatient spending, but it also reduced patients' self-assessed health-related quality of life. Integrated care and financial incentives are effective in lowering blood pressure and reducing hospitalization rate, but financial contracts may hurt patient quality of life. This trial was registered at the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR-OOR-14005563) on November 23, 2014

  15. Village doctor-assisted case management of rural patients with schizophrenia: protocol for a cluster randomized control trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Wenjie; Xu, Dong; Zhou, Liang; Brown, Henry Shelton; Smith, Kirk L; Xiao, Shuiyuan

    2014-01-16

    Strict compliance with prescribed medication is the key to reducing relapses in schizophrenia. As villagers in China lack regular access to psychiatrists to supervise compliance, we propose to train village 'doctors' (i.e., villagers with basic medical training and currently operating in villages across China delivering basic clinical and preventive care) to manage rural patients with schizophrenia with respect to compliance and monitoring symptoms. We hypothesize that with the necessary training and proper oversight, village doctors can significantly improve drug compliance of villagers with schizophrenia. We will conduct a cluster randomized controlled trial in 40 villages in Liuyang, Hunan Province, China, home to approximately 400 patients with schizophrenia. Half of the villages will be randomized into the treatment group (village doctor, or VD model) wherein village doctors who have received training in a schizophrenia case management protocol will manage case records, supervise drug taking, educate patients and families on schizophrenia and its treatment, and monitor patients for signs of relapse in order to arrange prompt referral. The other 20 villages will be assigned to the control group (case as usual, or CAU model) wherein patients will be visited by psychiatrists every two months and receive free antipsychotic medications under an on-going government program, Project 686. These control patients will receive no other management or follow up from health workers. A baseline survey will be conducted before the intervention to gather data on patient's socio-economic status, drug compliance history, and clinical and health outcome measures. Data will be re-collected 6 and 12 months into the intervention. A difference-in-difference regression model will be used to detect the program effect on drug compliance and other outcome measures. A cost-effectiveness analysis will also be conducted to compare the value of the VD model to that of the CAU group. Lack of

  16. Effects of integrated chronic care models on hypertension outcomes and spending: a multi-town clustered randomized trial in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuting Zhang

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hypertension affects one billion people globally and is one of the leading risk factors for cardiovascular and renal diseases. However, hypertension management remains poor, especially in rural China. Methods A clustered randomized controlled trial was conducted in six towns in China’s Qianjiang county between 7/2012 and 6/2014, including 5462 hypertension patients above 35 years old. Six towns were randomly assigned to three groups: Group 1 had the integrated care model including a multidisciplinary team and continuous care coordination, Group 2 had both the integrated care model and provider-level financial incentives, and the control group had the usual care. Primary outcomes were systolic blood pressure and health-related quality of life measured by SF36; secondary outcomes included hypertension-related hospitalization rate and inpatient spending. Blood pressure was measured sixteen times bimonthly between 12/1/2011 and 6/30/2014, and quality of life was measured on 7/1/2012 and 6/30/2014. Inpatient data between 7/1/2010 and 8/31/2014 were used. This trial is registered at the World Health Organization’s International Clinical Trials Registry, number ChiCTR-OOR-14005563. Results We found that the integrated care model effectively lowered blood pressure by 1.93 mmHg (95% CI 0.063–3.8, improved self-assessed health-related quality of life, and reduced the rate of hypertension-related hospitalization by 0.17 percentage points (95% CI 0.094–0.24. We also found that the provider-level financial contract further lowered blood pressure by 1.76 mmHg (95% CI 0.73–2.79 and reduced rates of hospitalization and inpatient spending, but it also reduced patients’ self-assessed health-related quality of life. Conclusions Integrated care and financial incentives are effective in lowering blood pressure and reducing hospitalization rate, but financial contracts may hurt patient quality of life. This trial was registered at

  17. Evaluation of a self-management patient education program for patients with chronic heart failure undergoing inpatient cardiac rehabilitation: study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Karin; Musekamp, Gunda; Seekatz, Bettina; Glatz, Johannes; Karger, Gabriele; Kiwus, Ulrich; Knoglinger, Ernst; Schubmann, Rainer; Westphal, Ronja; Faller, Hermann

    2013-08-23

    Chronic heart failure requires a complex treatment regimen on a life-long basis. Therefore, self-care/self-management is an essential part of successful treatment and comprehensive patient education is warranted. However, specific information on program features and educational strategies enhancing treatment success is lacking. This trial aims to evaluate a patient-oriented and theory-based self-management educational group program as compared to usual care education during inpatient cardiac rehabilitation in Germany. The study is a multicenter cluster randomized controlled trial in four cardiac rehabilitation clinics. Clusters are patient education groups that comprise HF patients recruited within 2 weeks after commencement of inpatient cardiac rehabilitation. Cluster randomization was chosen for pragmatic reasons, i.e. to ensure a sufficient number of eligible patients to build large-enough educational groups and to prevent contamination by interaction of patients from different treatment allocations during rehabilitation. Rehabilitants with chronic systolic heart failure (n = 540) will be consecutively recruited for the study at the beginning of inpatient rehabilitation. Data will be assessed at admission, at discharge and after 6 and 12 months using patient questionnaires. In the intervention condition, patients receive the new patient-oriented self-management educational program, whereas in the control condition, patients receive a short lecture-based educational program (usual care). The primary outcome is patients' self-reported self-management competence. Secondary outcomes include behavioral determinants and self-management health behavior (symptom monitoring, physical activity, medication adherence), health-related quality of life, and treatment satisfaction. Treatment effects will be evaluated separately for each follow-up time point using multilevel regression analysis, and adjusting for baseline values. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a

  18. Outcomes of a pilot hand hygiene randomized cluster trial to reduce communicable infections among US office-based employees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stedman-Smith, Maggie; DuBois, Cathy L Z; Grey, Scott F; Kingsbury, Diana M; Shakya, Sunita; Scofield, Jennifer; Slenkovich, Ken

    2015-04-01

    To determine the effectiveness of an office-based multimodal hand hygiene improvement intervention in reducing self-reported communicable infections and work-related absence. A randomized cluster trial including an electronic training video, hand sanitizer, and educational posters (n = 131, intervention; n = 193, control). Primary outcomes include (1) self-reported acute respiratory infections (ARIs)/influenza-like illness (ILI) and/or gastrointestinal (GI) infections during the prior 30 days; and (2) related lost work days. Incidence rate ratios calculated using generalized linear mixed models with a Poisson distribution, adjusted for confounders and random cluster effects. A 31% relative reduction in self-reported combined ARI-ILI/GI infections (incidence rate ratio: 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.49 to 0.98). A 21% nonsignificant relative reduction in lost work days. An office-based multimodal hand hygiene improvement intervention demonstrated a substantive reduction in self-reported combined ARI-ILI/GI infections.

  19. Community resource centres to improve the health of women and children in Mumbai slums: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah More, Neena; Das, Sushmita; Bapat, Ujwala; Rajguru, Mahesh; Alcock, Glyn; Joshi, Wasundhara; Pantvaidya, Shanti; Osrin, David

    2013-05-08

    The trial addresses the general question of whether community resource centers run by a non-government organization improve the health of women and children in slums. The resource centers will be run by the Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action, and the trial will evaluate their effects on a series of public health indicators. Each resource center will be located in a vulnerable Mumbai slum area and will serve as a base for salaried community workers, supervised by officers and coordinators, to organize the collection and dissemination of health information, provision of services, home visits to identify and counsel families at risk, referral of individuals and families to appropriate services and support for their access, meetings of community members and providers, and events and campaigns on health issues. A cluster randomized controlled trial in which 20 urban slum areas with resource centers are compared with 20 control areas. Each cluster will contain approximately 600 households and randomized allocation will be in three blocked phases, of 12, 12 and 16 clusters. Any resident of an intervention cluster will be able to participate in the intervention, but the resource centers will target women and children, particularly women of reproductive age and children under 5.The outcomes will be assessed through a household census after 2 years of resource center operations. The primary outcomes are unmet need for family planning in women aged 15 to 49 years, proportion of children under 5 years of age not fully immunized for their ages, and proportion of children under 5 years of age with weight for height less than 2 standard deviations below the median for age and sex. Secondary outcomes describe adolescent pregnancies, home deliveries, receipt of conditional cash transfers for institutional delivery, other childhood anthropometric indices, use of public sector health and nutrition services, indices of infant and young child feeding, and consultation

  20. The clinically-integrated randomized trial: proposed novel method for conducting large trials at low cost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scardino Peter T

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Randomized controlled trials provide the best method of determining which of two comparable treatments is preferable. Unfortunately, contemporary randomized trials have become increasingly expensive, complex and burdened by regulation, so much so that many trials are of doubtful feasibility. Discussion Here we present a proposal for a novel, streamlined approach to randomized trials: the "clinically-integrated randomized trial". The key aspect of our methodology is that the clinical experience of the patient and doctor is virtually indistinguishable whether or not the patient is randomized, primarily because outcome data are obtained from routine clinical data, or from short, web-based questionnaires. Integration of a randomized trial into routine clinical practice also implies that there should be an attempt to randomize every patient, a corollary of which is that eligibility criteria are minimized. The similar clinical experience of patients on- and off-study also entails that the marginal cost of putting an additional patient on trial is negligible. We propose examples of how the clinically-integrated randomized trial might be applied in four distinct areas of medicine: comparisons of surgical techniques, "me too" drugs, rare diseases and lifestyle interventions. Barriers to implementing clinically-integrated randomized trials are discussed. Conclusion The proposed clinically-integrated randomized trial may allow us to enlarge dramatically the number of clinical questions that can be addressed by randomization.

  1. Identifying randomized clinical trials in Spanish-language dermatology journals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanclemente, G; Pardo, H; Sánchez, S; Bonfill, X

    2015-06-01

    The necessary foundation for good clinical practice lies in knowledge derived from clinical research. Evidence from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) is the pillar on which decisions about therapy are based. To search exhaustively and rigorously to identify RCTs in dermatology journals published in Spanish. We located dermatology journals through the following search engines and indexes: PubMed, LILACS, SciELO, Periódica, Latindex, Índice Médico Español, C-17, IBECS, EMBASE, and IMBIOMED. We also sought information through dermatology associations and dermatologists in countries where Spanish was the usual language of publication, and we searched the Internet (Google). Afterwards we searched the journals electronically and manually to identify RCTs in all available volumes and issues, checking from the year publication started through 2012. Of 28 journals identified, we included 21 in the search. We found a total of 144 RCTs published since 1969; 78 (54%) were in Latin American journals and 66 (46%) were in Spanish journals. The most frequent disease contexts for RCTs in Spanish journals were psoriasis, mycoses, and acne vulgaris. In Latin American journals, the most frequent disease contexts were common warts, mycoses, acne vulgaris, and skin ulcers on the lower limbs. Manual searches identified more RCTs than electronic searches. Manual searches found a larger number of RCTs. Relatively fewer RCTs are published in Spanish and Latin American journals than in English-language journals. Internet facilitated access to full texts published by many journals; however, free open access to these texts is still unavailable and a large number of journal issues are still not posted online. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier España, S.L.U. and AEDV. All rights reserved.

  2. A randomized clinical trial of alpha(1)-antitrypsin augmentation therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirksen, A; Dijkman, J H; Madsen, F; Stoel, B; Hutchison, D C; Ulrik, C S; Skovgaard, L T; Kok-Jensen, A; Rudolphus, A; Seersholm, N; Vrooman, H A; Reiber, J H; Hansen, N C; Heckscher, T; Viskum, K; Stolk, J

    1999-11-01

    We have investigated whether restoration of the balance between neutrophil elastase and its inhibitor, alpha(1)-antitrypsin, can prevent the progression of pulmonary emphysema in patients with alpha(1)-antitrypsin deficiency. Twenty-six Danish and 30 Dutch ex-smokers with alpha(1)-antitrypsin deficiency of PI*ZZ phenotype and moderate emphysema (FEV(1) between 30% and 80% of predicted) participated in a double-blind trial of alpha(1)-antitrypsin augmentation therapy. The patients were randomized to either alpha(1)-antitrypsin (250 mg/kg) or albumin (625 mg/kg) infusions at 4-wk intervals for at least 3 yr. Self-administered spirometry performed every morning and evening at home showed no significant difference in decline of FEV(1) between treatment and placebo. Each year, the degree of emphysema was quantified by the 15th percentile point of the lung density histogram derived from computed tomography (CT). The loss of lung tissue measured by CT (mean +/- SEM) was 2.6 +/- 0.41 g/L/yr for placebo as compared with 1.5 +/- 0.41 g/L/yr for alpha(1)-antitrypsin infusion (p = 0.07). Power analysis showed that this protective effect would be significant in a similar trial with 130 patients. This is in contrast to calculations based on annual decline of FEV(1) showing that 550 patients would be needed to show a 50% reduction of annual decline. We conclude that lung density measurements by CT may facilitate future randomized clinical trials of investigational drugs for a disease in which little progress in therapy has been made in the past 30 yr.

  3. Evaluation of a self-management patient education program for patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musekamp, Gunda; Gerlich, Christian; Ehlebracht-König, Inge; Faller, Hermann; Reusch, Andrea

    2016-02-03

    Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a complex chronic condition that makes high demands on patients' self-management skills. Thus, patient education is considered an important component of multimodal therapy, although evidence regarding its effectiveness is scarce. The main objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness of an advanced self-management patient education program for patients with FMS as compared to usual care in the context of inpatient rehabilitation. We conducted a multicenter cluster randomized controlled trial in 3 rehabilitation clinics. Clusters are groups of patients with FMS consecutively recruited within one week after admission. Patients of the intervention group receive the advanced multidisciplinary self-management patient education program (considering new knowledge on FMS, with a focus on transfer into everyday life), whereas patients in the control group receive standard patient education programs including information on FMS and coping with pain. A total of 566 patients are assessed at admission, at discharge and after 6 and 12 months, using patient reported questionnaires. Primary outcomes are patients' disease- and treatment-specific knowledge at discharge and self-management skills after 6 months. Secondary outcomes include satisfaction, attitudes and coping competences, health-promoting behavior, psychological distress, health impairment and participation. Treatment effects between groups are evaluated using multilevel regression analysis adjusting for baseline values. The study evaluates the effectiveness of a self-management patient education program for patients with FMS in the context of inpatient rehabilitation in a cluster randomized trial. Study results will show whether self-management patient education is beneficial for this group of patients. German Clinical Trials Register, DRKS00008782 , Registered 8 July 2015.

  4. A Coupled Hidden Conditional Random Field Model for Simultaneous Face Clustering and Naming in Videos

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Yifan; Tang, Zhiqiang; Wu, Baoyuan; Ji, Qiang; Lu, Hanqing

    2016-01-01

    , we divide the problem into two tasks: face clustering which groups the faces depicting a certain person into a cluster, and name assignment which associates a name to each face. Each task is formulated as a structured prediction problem and modeled

  5. Prospective randomized clinical studies involving reirradiation. Lessons learned

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nieder, Carsten [Nordland Hospital, Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Bodoe (Norway); University of Tromsoe, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Tromsoe (Norway); Langendijk, Johannes A. [University Medical Centre Groningen, Department of Radiation Oncology, Groningen (Netherlands); Guckenberger, Matthias [University Hospital Zuerich, Department of Radiation Oncology, Zuerich (Switzerland); Grosu, Anca L. [University Hospital Freiburg, Department of Radiation Oncology, Freiburg (Germany)

    2016-10-15

    Reirradiation is a potentially useful option for many patients with recurrent cancer. The purpose of this study was to review all recently published randomized trials in order to identify methodological strengths and weaknesses, comment on the results, clinical implications and open questions, and give advice for the planning of future trials. Systematic review of trials published between 2000 and 2015 (databases searched were PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science). We reviewed 9 trials, most of which addressed reirradiation of head and neck tumours. The median number of patients was 69. Trial design, primary endpoint and statistical hypotheses varied widely. The results contribute mainly to decision making for reirradiation of nasopharynx cancer and bone metastases. The trials with relatively long median follow-up confirm that serious toxicity remains a concern after high cumulative total doses. Multi-institutional collaboration is encouraged to complete sufficiently large trials. Despite a paucity of large randomized studies, reirradiation has been adopted in different clinical scenarios by many institutions. Typically, the patients have been assessed by multidisciplinary tumour boards and advanced technologies are used to create highly conformal dose distributions. (orig.) [German] Eine Rebestrahlung kann fuer viele Patienten mit rezidivierenden Malignomen eine nuetzliche Option bieten. Der Zweck dieser Studie bestand darin, alle in der juengeren Vergangenheit publizierten randomisierten Studien zu beurteilen, da deren methodische Staerken und Schwaechen, Ergebnisse und resultierende Implikationen bzw. offene Fragen die Planung kuenftiger Studien wesentlich beeinflussen koennen. Systematische Uebersicht aller zwischen 2000 und 2015 veroeffentlichten Studien (Literatursuche ueber PubMed, Scopus und Web of Science). Ausgewertet wurden 9 Studien, in die vor allem Patienten mit Kopf-Hals-Tumoren eingeschlossen waren. Im Median hatten 69 Patienten teilgenommen. Das

  6. Effectiveness of a self-management program for dual sensory impaired seniors in aged care settings: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roets-Merken, Lieve M; Graff, Maud J L; Zuidema, Sytse U; Hermsen, Pieter G J M; Teerenstra, Steven; Kempen, Gertrudis I J M; Vernooij-Dassen, Myrra J F J

    2013-10-07

    Five to 25 percent of residents in aged care settings have a combined hearing and visual sensory impairment. Usual care is generally restricted to single sensory impairment, neglecting the consequences of dual sensory impairment on social participation and autonomy. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a self-management program for seniors who acquired dual sensory impairment at old age. In a cluster randomized, single-blind controlled trial, with aged care settings as the unit of randomization, the effectiveness of a self-management program will be compared to usual care. A minimum of 14 and maximum of 20 settings will be randomized to either the intervention cluster or the control cluster, aiming to include a total of 132 seniors with dual sensory impairment. Each senior will be linked to a licensed practical nurse working at the setting. During a five to six month intervention period, nurses at the intervention clusters will be trained in a self-management program to support and empower seniors to use self-management strategies. In two separate diaries, nurses keep track of the interviews with the seniors and their reflections on their own learning process. Nurses of the control clusters offer care as usual. At senior level, the primary outcome is the social participation of the seniors measured using the Hearing Handicap Questionnaire and the Activity Card Sort, and secondary outcomes are mood, autonomy and quality of life. At nurse level, the outcome is job satisfaction. Effectiveness will be evaluated using linear mixed model analysis. The results of this study will provide evidence for the effectiveness of the Self-Management Program for seniors with dual sensory impairment living in aged care settings. The findings are expected to contribute to the knowledge on the program's potential to enhance social participation and autonomy of the seniors, as well as increasing the job satisfaction of the licensed practical nurses. Furthermore, an

  7. Effectiveness of Provider and Community Interventions to Improve Treatment of Uncomplicated Malaria in Nigeria: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Obinna Onwujekwe

    Full Text Available The World Health Organization recommends that malaria be confirmed by parasitological diagnosis before treatment using Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT. Despite this, many health workers in malaria endemic countries continue to diagnose malaria based on symptoms alone. This study evaluates interventions to help bridge this gap between guidelines and provider practice. A stratified cluster-randomized trial in 42 communities in Enugu state compared 3 scenarios: Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs with basic instruction (control; RDTs with provider training (provider arm; and RDTs with provider training plus a school-based community intervention (provider-school arm. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients treated according to guidelines, a composite indicator requiring patients to be tested for malaria and given treatment consistent with the test result. The primary outcome was evaluated among 4946 (93% of the 5311 patients invited to participate. A total of 40 communities (12 in control, 14 per intervention arm were included in the analysis. There was no evidence of differences between the three arms in terms of our composite indicator (p = 0.36: stratified risk difference was 14% (95% CI -8.3%, 35.8%; p = 0.26 in the provider arm and 1% (95% CI -21.1%, 22.9%; p = 0.19 in the provider-school arm, compared with control. The level of testing was low across all arms (34% in control; 48% provider arm; 37% provider-school arm; p = 0.47. Presumptive treatment of uncomplicated malaria remains an ingrained behaviour that is difficult to change. With or without extensive supporting interventions, levels of testing in this study remained critically low. Governments and researchers must continue to explore alternative ways of encouraging providers to deliver appropriate treatment and avoid the misuse of valuable medicines.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01350752.

  8. Physical exercise at the workplace prevents deterioration of work ability among healthcare workers: cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobsen, Markus D; Sundstrup, Emil; Brandt, Mikkel; Jay, Kenneth; Aagaard, Per; Andersen, Lars L

    2015-11-25

    Imbalance between individual resources and work demands can lead to musculoskeletal disorders and reduced work ability. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of workplace- versus home-based physical exercise on work ability among healthcare workers. Two hundred female healthcare workers (Age: 42.0, BMI: 24.1, work ability index [WAI]: 43.1) from 18 departments at three Danish hospitals participated (Copenhagen, Denmark, Aug 2013-Jan 2014). Participants were randomly allocated at the cluster level to 10 weeks of: 1) workplace physical exercise (WORK) performed during working hours for 5x10 min per week and up to 5 group-based coaching sessions on motivation for regular physical exercise, or 2) home-based physical exercise (HOME) performed during leisure time for 5x10 min per week. Both groups received ergonomic counseling on patient handling and use of lifting aides. The main outcome measure was the change from baseline to 10-week follow-up in WAI. Significant group by time interaction was observed for WAI (p WORK compared with HOME corresponding to a small effect size (Cohens'd = 0.24). Within-group changes indicated that between-group differences were mainly caused by a reduction in WAI in HOME. Of the seven items of WAI, item 2 (work ability in relation to the demands of the job) and item 5 (sickness absence during the past year) were improved in WORK compared with HOME (P work ability among female healthcare workers. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01921764 . Registered 10 August 2013.

  9. Clinical Implications of Cluster Analysis-Based Classification of Acute Decompensated Heart Failure and Correlation with Bedside Hemodynamic Profiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tariq Ahmad

    Full Text Available Classification of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF is based on subjective criteria that crudely capture disease heterogeneity. Improved phenotyping of the syndrome may help improve therapeutic strategies.To derive cluster analysis-based groupings for patients hospitalized with ADHF, and compare their prognostic performance to hemodynamic classifications derived at the bedside.We performed a cluster analysis on baseline clinical variables and PAC measurements of 172 ADHF patients from the ESCAPE trial. Employing regression techniques, we examined associations between clusters and clinically determined hemodynamic profiles (warm/cold/wet/dry. We assessed association with clinical outcomes using Cox proportional hazards models. Likelihood ratio tests were used to compare the prognostic value of cluster data to that of hemodynamic data.We identified four advanced HF clusters: 1 male Caucasians with ischemic cardiomyopathy, multiple comorbidities, lowest B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP levels; 2 females with non-ischemic cardiomyopathy, few comorbidities, most favorable hemodynamics; 3 young African American males with non-ischemic cardiomyopathy, most adverse hemodynamics, advanced disease; and 4 older Caucasians with ischemic cardiomyopathy, concomitant renal insufficiency, highest BNP levels. There was no association between clusters and bedside-derived hemodynamic profiles (p = 0.70. For all adverse clinical outcomes, Cluster 4 had the highest risk, and Cluster 2, the lowest. Compared to Cluster 4, Clusters 1-3 had 45-70% lower risk of all-cause mortality. Clusters were significantly associated with clinical outcomes, whereas hemodynamic profiles were not.By clustering patients with similar objective variables, we identified four clinically relevant phenotypes of ADHF patients, with no discernable relationship to hemodynamic profiles, but distinct associations with adverse outcomes. Our analysis suggests that ADHF classification using

  10. Simulation-Based Training for Residents in the Management of Acute Agitation: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vestal, Heather S; Sowden, Gillian; Nejad, Shamim; Stoklosa, Joseph; Valcourt, Stephanie C; Keary, Christopher; Caminis, Argyro; Huffman, Jeff

    2017-02-01

    Simulations are used extensively in medicine to train clinicians to manage high-risk situations. However, to our knowledge, no studies have determined whether this is an effective means of teaching residents to manage acutely agitated patients. This study aimed to determine whether simulation-based training in the management of acute agitation improves resident knowledge and performance, as compared to didactic-based instruction. Following a standard lecture on the management of agitated patients, first-year psychiatry residents were randomized (in clusters of three to four residents) to either the intervention (n = 15) or control arm (n = 11). Residents in the intervention arm then received simulation-based training on the management of acute agitation using a scenario with an agitated standardized patient. Those in the control arm received simulation-based training on a clinical topic unrelated to the management of agitation using a scenario with a non-agitated standardized patient who had suffered a fall. Baseline confidence and knowledge were assessed using pre-intervention self-assessment questionnaires and open-ended clinical case vignettes. Efficacy of the intervention as a teaching tool was assessed with post-intervention open-ended clinical case vignettes and videotaped simulation-based assessment, using a different scenario of an agitated standardized patient. Residents who received the agitation simulation-based training showed significantly greater improvement in knowledge (intervention = 3.0 vs. control = 0.3, p = 0.007, Cohen's d = 1.2) and performance (intervention = 39.6 vs control = 32.5, p = 0.001, Cohen's d = 1.6). Change in self-perceived confidence did not differ significantly between groups. In this study, simulation-based training appeared to be more effective at teaching knowledge and skills necessary for the management of acutely agitated patients, as compared to didactic-based instruction alone

  11. Effect of workplace- versus home-based physical exercise on pain in healthcare workers: study protocol for a single blinded cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobsen, Markus D; Sundstrup, Emil; Brandt, Mikkel; Kristensen, Anne Zoëga; Jay, Kenneth; Stelter, Reinhard; Lavendt, Ebbe; Aagaard, Per; Andersen, Lars L

    2014-04-07

    exertion during work, social capital and work ability (secondary outcomes) is assessed at baseline and 10-week follow-up. Further, postural balance and mechanical muscle function is assessed during clinical examination at baseline and follow-up. This cluster randomized trial will investigate the change in self-rated average pain intensity in the back, neck and shoulder after either 10 weeks of physical exercise at the workplace or at home. ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01921764).

  12. Effect of workplace- versus home-based physical exercise on pain in healthcare workers: study protocol for a single blinded cluster randomized controlled trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    (primary outcome) and physical exertion during work, social capital and work ability (secondary outcomes) is assessed at baseline and 10-week follow-up. Further, postural balance and mechanical muscle function is assessed during clinical examination at baseline and follow-up. Discussion This cluster randomized trial will investigate the change in self-rated average pain intensity in the back, neck and shoulder after either 10 weeks of physical exercise at the workplace or at home. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01921764). PMID:24708570

  13. Generated effect modifiers (GEM's) in randomized clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkova, Eva; Tarpey, Thaddeus; Su, Zhe; Ogden, R Todd

    2017-01-01

    In a randomized clinical trial (RCT), it is often of interest not only to estimate the effect of various treatments on the outcome, but also to determine whether any patient characteristic has a different relationship with the outcome, depending on treatment. In regression models for the outcome, if there is a non-zero interaction between treatment and a predictor, that predictor is called an "effect modifier". Identification of such effect modifiers is crucial as we move towards precision medicine, that is, optimizing individual treatment assignment based on patient measurements assessed when presenting for treatment. In most settings, there will be several baseline predictor variables that could potentially modify the treatment effects. This article proposes optimal methods of constructing a composite variable (defined as a linear combination of pre-treatment patient characteristics) in order to generate an effect modifier in an RCT setting. Several criteria are considered for generating effect modifiers and their performance is studied via simulations. An example from a RCT is provided for illustration. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Generated effect modifiers (GEM’s) in randomized clinical trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkova, Eva; Tarpey, Thaddeus; Su, Zhe; Ogden, R. Todd

    2017-01-01

    In a randomized clinical trial (RCT), it is often of interest not only to estimate the effect of various treatments on the outcome, but also to determine whether any patient characteristic has a different relationship with the outcome, depending on treatment. In regression models for the outcome, if there is a non-zero interaction between treatment and a predictor, that predictor is called an “effect modifier”. Identification of such effect modifiers is crucial as we move towards precision medicine, that is, optimizing individual treatment assignment based on patient measurements assessed when presenting for treatment. In most settings, there will be several baseline predictor variables that could potentially modify the treatment effects. This article proposes optimal methods of constructing a composite variable (defined as a linear combination of pre-treatment patient characteristics) in order to generate an effect modifier in an RCT setting. Several criteria are considered for generating effect modifiers and their performance is studied via simulations. An example from a RCT is provided for illustration. PMID:27465235

  15. Anethum graveolens and hyperlipidemia: A randomized clinical trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahmoud Mirhosseini

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: It has been established that hyperlipidemia increases the incidence and mortality associated with coronary heart disease. In this study, the effects of Dill (Anethum graveolens were evaluated on lipid profile of hypercholesterolemic patients. Materials and Methods: In this clinical study, 91 hyperlipidemic patients were randomly designated into two groups. One group received gemfibrozil (900 mg daily and the other group received Dill tablet (six tablets daily for 2 months. The blood lipids including total cholesterol, triglyceride and high density lipoprotein (HDL-cholesterol from each group were assessed at the beginning and end of the trial. Results: Use of gemfibrozil brought about increased HDL-cholesterol by 3.91% (P < 0.05 and reduced triglyceride and total cholesterol by 32.7% (P < 0.05 and 9.41% (P < 0.05, respectively. Applying Dill tablet for 2 months resulted in reduction of total cholesterol up to 18% (P < 0.05 and triglyceride by 7.38% (P < 0.05. However, circulating HDL-cholesterol was not affected by this treatment. In this study, gemfibrozil decreased triglyceride and increased HDL-cholesterol more than anethum (P < 0.05. Anethum decreased total cholesterol more than gemfibrozil (P < 0.05. Patients treated with anethum did not report any side effects. Conclusion: The results of this trial indicate that Dill might be beneficial for hypercholesterolemic and hypertriglycemic patients.

  16. The Cluster-Randomized BRIGHT Trial: Proactive Case Finding for Community-Dwelling Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerse, Ngaire; McLean, Chris; Moyes, Simon A.; Peri, Kathy; Ng, Terence; Wilkinson-Meyers, Laura; Brown, Paul; Latham, Nancy; Connolly, Martin

    2014-01-01

    PURPOSE People are now living longer, but disability may affect the quality of those additional years of life. We undertook a trial to assess whether case finding reduces disability among older primary care patients. METHODS We conducted a cluster-randomized trial of the Brief Risk Identification Geriatric Health Tool (BRIGHT) among 60 primary care practices in New Zealand, assigning them to an intervention or control group. Intervention practices sent a BRIGHT screening tool to older adults every birthday; those with a score of 3 or higher were referred to regional geriatric services for assessment and, if needed, service provision. Control practices provided usual care. Main outcomes, assessed in blinded fashion, were residential care placement and hospitalization, and secondary outcomes were disability, assessed with Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living Scale (NEADL), and quality of life, assessed with the World Health Organization Quality of Life scale, abbreviated version (WHOQOL-BREF). RESULTS All 8,308 community-dwelling patients aged 75 years and older were approached; 3,893 (47%) participated, of whom 3,010 (77%) completed the trial. Their mean age was 80.3 (SD 4.5) years, and 55% were women. Overall, 88% of the intervention group returned a BRIGHT tool; 549 patients were referred. After 36 months, patients in the intervention group were more likely than those in the control group to have been placed in residential care: 8.4% vs 6.2% (hazard ratio = 1.32; 95% CI, 1.04–1.68; P = .02). Intervention patients had smaller declines in mean scores for physical health-related quality of life (1.6 vs 2.9 points, P = .007) and psychological health-related quality of life (1.1 vs 2.4 points, P = .005). Hospitalization, disability, and use of services did not differ between groups, however. CONCLUSIONS Our case-finding strategy was effective in increasing identification of older adults with disability, but there was little evidence of improved outcomes

  17. Cluster randomized evaluation of Adolescent Girls Empowerment Programme (AGEP: study protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C. Hewett

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Adolescents in less developed countries such as Zambia often face multi-faceted challenges for achieving successful transitions through adolescence to early adulthood. The literature has noted the need to introduce interventions during this period, particularly for adolescent girls, with the perspective that such investments have significant economic, social and health returns to society. The Adolescent Girls Empowerment Programme (AGEP was an intervention designed as a catalyst for change for adolescent girls through themselves, to their family and community. Methods/design AGEP was a multi-sectoral intervention targeting over 10,000 vulnerable adolescent girls ages 10–19 in rural and urban areas, in four of the ten provinces of Zambia. At the core of AGEP were mentor-led, weekly girls’ group meetings of 20 to 30 adolescent girls participating over two years. Three curricula ― sexual and reproductive health and lifeskills, financial literacy, and nutrition ― guided the meetings. An engaging and participatory pedagogical approach was used. Two additional program components, a health voucher and a bank account, were offered to some girls to provide direct mechanisms to improve access to health and financial services. Embedded within AGEP was a rigorous multi-arm randomised cluster trial with randomization to different combinations of programme arms. The study was powered to assess the impact across a set of key longer-term outcomes, including early marriage and first birth, contraceptive use, educational attainment and acquisition of HIV and HSV-2. Baseline behavioural surveys and biological specimen collection were initiated in 2013. Impact was evaluated immediately after the program ended in 2015 and will be evaluated again after two additional years of follow-up in 2017. The primary analysis is intent-to-treat. Qualitative data are being collected in 2013, 2015 and 2017 to inform the programme implementation and the

  18. Implementation of client versus care-provider strategies to improve external cephalic version rates: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlemmix, Floortje; Rosman, Ageeth N; Rijnders, Marlies E; Beuckens, Antje; Opmeer, Brent C; Mol, Ben W J; Kok, Marjolein; Fleuren, Margot A H

    2015-05-01

    To determine the effectiveness of a client or care-provider strategy to improve the implementation of external cephalic version. Cluster randomized controlled trial. Twenty-five clusters; hospitals and their referring midwifery practices randomly selected in the Netherlands. Singleton breech presentation from 32 weeks of gestation onwards. We randomized clusters to a client strategy (written information leaflets and decision aid), a care-provider strategy (1-day counseling course focused on knowledge and counseling skills), a combined client and care-provider strategy and care-as-usual strategy. We performed an intention-to-treat analysis. Rate of external cephalic version in various strategies. Secondary outcomes were the percentage of women counseled and opting for a version attempt. The overall implementation rate of external cephalic version was 72% (1169 of 1613 eligible clients) with a range between clusters of 8-95%. Neither the client strategy (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.4-1.5) nor the care-provider strategy (OR 1.2, 95% CI 0.6-2.3) showed significant improvements. Results were comparable when we limited the analysis to those women who were actually offered intervention (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-1.4 and OR 2.0, 95% CI 0.7-4.5). Neither a client nor a care-provider strategy improved the external cephalic version implementation rate for breech presentation, neither with regard to the number of version attempts offered nor the number of women accepting the procedure. © 2015 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  19. Effectiveness of work-related medical rehabilitation in cancer patients: study protocol of a cluster-randomized multicenter trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wienert, Julian; Schwarz, Betje; Bethge, Matthias

    2016-07-27

    Work is a central resource for cancer survivors as it not only provides income but also impacts health and quality of life. Additionally, work helps survivors to cope with the perceived critical life event. The German Pension Insurance provides medical rehabilitation for working-age patients with chronic diseases to improve and restore their work ability, and support returning to or staying at work, and thus tries to sustainably avoid health-related early retirement. Past research showed that conventional medical rehabilitation programs do not support returning to work sufficiently and that work-related medical rehabilitation programs report higher return-to-work rates across several health conditions, when compared to medical rehabilitation. Therefore, the current study protocol outlines an effectiveness study of such a program for cancer survivors. To evaluate the effectiveness of work-related medical rehabilitation in cancer patients we conduct a cluster-randomized multicenter trial. In total, 504 rehabilitation patients between 18 and 60 years with a Karnofsky Performance Status of ≥70 %, a preliminary positive social-medical prognosis of employability for at least 3 h/day within the next 6 months and an elevated risk of not returning to work will be recruited in four inpatient rehabilitation centers. Patients are randomized to the work-related medical rehabilitation program or the conventional medical rehabilitation program based on their week of arrival at each rehabilitation center. The work-related medical rehabilitation program comprises additional work-related diagnostics, multi-professional team meetings, an introductory session as well as work-related functional capacity training, work-related psychological groups, and social counseling. All additional components are aimed at the adjustment of the patients' capacity in relation to their individual job demands. Role functioning defines the main study outcome and will be assessed with the EORTC

  20. Minimal improvement of nurses' motivational interviewing skills in routine diabetes care one year after training: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansink, Renate; Braspenning, Jozé; Laurant, Miranda; Keizer, Ellen; Elwyn, Glyn; Weijden, Trudy van der; Grol, Richard

    2013-03-28

    The effectiveness of nurse-led motivational interviewing (MI) in routine diabetes care in general practice is inconclusive. Knowledge about the extent to which nurses apply MI skills and the factors that affect the usage can help to understand the black box of this intervention. The current study compared MI skills of trained versus non-trained general practice nurses in diabetes consultations. The nurses participated in a cluster randomized trial in which a comprehensive program (including MI training) was tested on improving clinical parameters, lifestyle, patients' readiness to change lifestyle, and quality of life. Fifty-eight general practices were randomly assigned to usual care (35 nurses) or the intervention (30 nurses). The ratings of applying 24 MI skills (primary outcome) were based on five consultation recordings per nurse at baseline and 14 months later. Two judges evaluated independently the MI skills and the consultation characteristics time, amount of nurse communication, amount of lifestyle discussion and patients' readiness to change. The effect of the training on the MI skills was analysed with a multilevel linear regression by comparing baseline and the one-year follow-up between the interventions with usual care group. The overall effect of the consultation characteristics on the MI skills was studied in a multilevel regression analyses. At one year follow up, it was demonstrated that the nurses improved on 2 of the 24 MI skills, namely, "inviting the patient to talk about behaviour change" (mean difference=0.39, p=0.009), and "assessing patient's confidence in changing their lifestyle" (mean difference=0.28, p=0.037). Consultation time and the amount of lifestyle discussion as well as the patients' readiness to change health behaviour was associated positively with applying MI skills. The maintenance of the MI skills one year after the training program was minimal. The question is whether the success of MI to change unhealthy behaviour must be

  1. Minimal improvement of nurses’ motivational interviewing skills in routine diabetes care one year after training: a cluster randomized trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The effectiveness of nurse-led motivational interviewing (MI) in routine diabetes care in general practice is inconclusive. Knowledge about the extent to which nurses apply MI skills and the factors that affect the usage can help to understand the black box of this intervention. The current study compared MI skills of trained versus non-trained general practice nurses in diabetes consultations. The nurses participated in a cluster randomized trial in which a comprehensive program (including MI training) was tested on improving clinical parameters, lifestyle, patients’ readiness to change lifestyle, and quality of life. Methods Fifty-eight general practices were randomly assigned to usual care (35 nurses) or the intervention (30 nurses). The ratings of applying 24 MI skills (primary outcome) were based on five consultation recordings per nurse at baseline and 14 months later. Two judges evaluated independently the MI skills and the consultation characteristics time, amount of nurse communication, amount of lifestyle discussion and patients’ readiness to change. The effect of the training on the MI skills was analysed with a multilevel linear regression by comparing baseline and the one-year follow-up between the interventions with usual care group. The overall effect of the consultation characteristics on the MI skills was studied in a multilevel regression analyses. Results At one year follow up, it was demonstrated that the nurses improved on 2 of the 24 MI skills, namely, “inviting the patient to talk about behaviour change” (mean difference=0.39, p=0.009), and “assessing patient’s confidence in changing their lifestyle” (mean difference=0.28, p=0.037). Consultation time and the amount of lifestyle discussion as well as the patients’ readiness to change health behaviour was associated positively with applying MI skills. Conclusions The maintenance of the MI skills one year after the training program was minimal. The question is whether

  2. Prevention of Gestational Diabetes: Design of a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial and One-Year Follow-Up

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansikkamäki Kirsi

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Annual prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM is 12.5% among Finnish pregnant women. The prevalence is expected to rise with the increasing overweight among women before pregnancy. Physical activity and diet are both known to have favourable effects on insulin resistance and possibly on the risk of GDM. We aimed to investigate, whether GDM can be prevented by counseling on diet, physical activity and gestational weight gain during pregnancy. Methods/Design A cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted in 14 municipalities in the southern part of Finland. Pairwise randomization was performed in order to take into account socioeconomic differences. Recruited women were at 8-12 weeks' gestation and fulfilled at least one of the following criteria: body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m2, history of earlier gestational glucose intolerance or macrosomic newborn (> 4500 g, age ≥ 40 years, first or second degree relative with history of type 1 or 2 diabetes. Main exclusion criterion was pathological oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT at 8-12 weeks' gestation. The trial included one counseling session on physical activity at 8-12 weeks' gestation and one for diet at 16-18 weeks' gestation, and three to four booster sessions during other routine visits. In the control clinics women received usual care. Information on height, weight gain and other gestational factors was obtained from maternity cards. Physical activity, dietary intake and quality of life were followed by questionnaires during pregnancy and at 1-year postpartum. Blood samples for lipid status, hormones, insulin and OGTT were taken at 8-12 and 26-28 weeks' gestation and 1 year postpartum. Workability and return to work were elicited by a questionnaire at 1- year postpartum. Linkage to the national birth register of years 2007-2009 will provide information on perinatal complications and GDM incidence among the non-participants of the study. Cost

  3. Chronobiology differs between men and women with cluster headache, clinical phenotype does not

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Nunu; Barloese, Mads; Petersen, Anja

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To describe differences between the sexes in the phenotype of cluster headache (CH) in a large, well-characterized clinical CH population. METHODS: Patients from the Danish CH survey aged 18-65 years, diagnosed with CH according to International Classification of Headache Disorders, se...... more often failed. Furthermore, women had chronic CH more frequently than men. A long diagnostic delay and frequent misdiagnosis emphasize the need for increased awareness of CH in both sexes....

  4. Clinical evaluation of nonsyndromic dental anomalies in Dravidian population: A cluster sample analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Yamunadevi, Andamuthu; Selvamani, M.; Vinitha, V.; Srivandhana, R.; Balakrithiga, M.; Prabhu, S.; Ganapathy, N.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: To record the prevalence rate of dental anomalies in Dravidian population and analyze the percentage of individual anomalies in the population. Methodology: A cluster sample analysis was done, where 244 subjects studying in a dental institution were all included and analyzed for occurrence of dental anomalies by clinical examination, excluding third molars from analysis. Results: 31.55% of the study subjects had dental anomalies and shape anomalies were more prevalent (22.1%), followed b...

  5. A Coupled Hidden Markov Random Field Model for Simultaneous Face Clustering and Tracking in Videos

    KAUST Repository

    Wu, Baoyuan; Hu, Bao-Gang; Ji, Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Face clustering and face tracking are two areas of active research in automatic facial video processing. They, however, have long been studied separately, despite the inherent link between them. In this paper, we propose to perform simultaneous face

  6. Improving Care for Patients With or at Risk for Chronic Kidney Disease Using Electronic Medical Record Interventions: A Pragmatic Cluster-Randomized Trial Protocol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Danielle M.; Ivers, Noah M.; Young, Jacqueline; Jaakkimainen, R. Liisa; Garg, Amit X.; Tu, Karen

    2017-01-01

    Background: Many patients with or at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the primary care setting are not receiving recommended care. Objective: The objective of this study is to determine whether a multifaceted, low-cost intervention compared with usual care improves the care of patients with or at risk for CKD in the primary care setting. Design: A pragmatic cluster-randomized trial, with an embedded qualitative process evaluation, will be conducted. Setting: The study population comes from the Electronic Medical Record Administrative data Linked Database®, which includes clinical data for more than 140 000 rostered adults cared for by 194 family physicians in 34 clinics across Ontario, Canada. The 34 primary care clinics will be randomized to the intervention or control group. Intervention: The intervention group will receive resources from the “CKD toolkit” to help improve care including practice audit and feedback, printed educational materials for physicians and patients, electronic decision support and reminders, and implementation support. Measurements: Patients with or at risk for CKD within participating clinics will be identified using laboratory data in the electronic medical records. Outcomes will be assessed after dissemination of the CKD tools and after 2 rounds of feedback on performance on quality indicators have been sent to the physicians using information from the electronic medical records. The primary outcome is the proportion of patients aged 50 to 80 years with nondialysis-dependent CKD who are on a statin. Secondary outcomes include process of care measures such as screening tests, CKD recognition, monitoring tests, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker prescriptions, blood pressure targets met, and nephrologist referral. Hierarchical analytic modeling will be performed to account for clustering. Semistructured interviews will be conducted with a random purposeful sample of physicians in the

  7. Effects of auriculotherapy on labour pain: a randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mafetoni, Reginaldo Roque; Shimo, Antonieta Keiko Kakuda

    2016-01-01

    Assessing the effects of auriculotherapy in pain control and its outcomes on the duration of labour. This is a randomized, controlled, double-blind trial with preliminary data. Thirty pregnant women with gestational age ≥ 37 weeks, cervical dilatation ≥ 4 cm and two or more contractions in 10 minutes were selected and randomly divided into three groups: auriculotherapy, placebo and control. Auriculotherapy was applied using crystal beads on four strategic points. No statistical significance was found between the groups with regard to pain; however, the women from the auriculotherapy group had lower intensity and less perception of pain at 30, 60 and 120 minutes of treatment. The average duration of labour was shorter in the auriculotherapy group (248.7 versus placebo 414.8 versus control 296.3 minutes); caesarean section rates were higher in the placebo group (50%) and the same in the other groups (10%). Mothers who received auriculotherapy presented a tendency for greater pain control and shorter labour duration; however, caesarean section rates in this group were similar to the control group. This trial precedes a larger study in progress. Registration of Brazilian Clinical Trials: RBR-47hhbj. Avaliar os efeitos da auriculoterapia no controle da dor e seus desfechos na duração do trabalho de parto. Trata-se de um ensaio controlado, randomizado e duplo-cego, com dados preliminares. Foram selecionadas 30 parturientes com idade gestacional ≥ 37 semanas, dilatação cervical ≥ 4 cm e duas ou mais contrações em 10 minutos, divididas aleatoriamente em três grupos: auriculoterapia, placebo ou controle. A auriculoterapia foi aplicada com microesferas de cristais em quatro pontos estratégicos. Não houve significância estatística entre os grupos com relação à dor; no entanto, as mulheres do grupo de auriculoterapia, apresentaram menor intensidade e menor percepção da dor aos 30, 60 e 120 minutos do tratamento. A média de duração do trabalho de

  8. Depressive symptoms and gestational length among pregnant adolescents: Cluster randomized control trial of CenteringPregnancy® plus group prenatal care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felder, Jennifer N; Epel, Elissa; Lewis, Jessica B; Cunningham, Shayna D; Tobin, Jonathan N; Rising, Sharon Schindler; Thomas, Melanie; Ickovics, Jeannette R

    2017-06-01

    Depressive symptoms are associated with preterm birth among adults. Pregnant adolescents have high rates of depressive symptoms and low rates of treatment; however, few interventions have targeted this vulnerable group. Objectives are to: (a) examine impact of CenteringPregnancy® Plus group prenatal care on perinatal depressive symptoms compared to individual prenatal care; and (b) determine effects of depressive symptoms on gestational age and preterm birth among pregnant adolescents. This cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted in 14 community health centers and hospitals in New York City. Clinical sites were randomized to receive standard individual prenatal care (n = 7) or CenteringPregnancy® Plus group prenatal care (n = 7). Pregnant adolescents (ages 14-21, N = 1,135) completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale during pregnancy (second and third trimesters) and postpartum (6 and 12 months). Gestational age was obtained from medical records, based on ultrasound dating. Intention to treat analyses were used to examine objectives. Adolescents at clinical sites randomized to CenteringPregnancy® Plus experienced greater reductions in perinatal depressive symptoms compared to those at clinical sites randomized to individual care (p = .003). Increased depressive symptoms from second to third pregnancy trimester were associated with shorter gestational age at delivery and preterm birth (<37 weeks gestation). Third trimester depressive symptoms were also associated with shorter gestational age and preterm birth. All p < .05. Pregnant adolescents should be screened for depressive symptoms prior to third trimester. Group prenatal care may be an effective nonpharmacological option for reducing depressive symptoms among perinatal adolescents. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Effects of Individual Physician-Level and Practice-Level Financial Incentives on Hypertension Care: A Cluster Randomized Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Laura A.; Simpson, Kate; Pietz, Kenneth; Urech, Tracy H.; Hysong, Sylvia J.; Profit, Jochen; Conrad, Douglas A.; Dudley, R. Adams; Woodard, LeChauncy D.

    2014-01-01

    Importance Pay for performance is intended to align incentives to promote high quality care, but results have been contradictory. Objective To test the effect of explicit financial incentives to reward guideline-recommended hypertension care. Design, Setting, and Participants Cluster randomized controlled trial of 12 Veterans Affairs hospital-based outpatient clinics with five performance periods and a 12-month washout. We enrolled 83 primary care physicians and 42 non-physician personnel (e.g., nurses, pharmacists) working with physicians to deliver hypertension care. Interventions Clinics randomized to one of four groups: physician-level (individual) incentives; practice-level incentives; individual- plus practice-level incentives (combined); or none. Intervention participants received up to five payments every four months; all participants could access feedback reports. Main outcome measures For each four-month period, the number of hypertensive patients among a random sample who achieved guideline-recommended blood pressure thresholds or received an appropriate response to uncontrolled blood pressure; and/or been prescribed guideline-recommended medications and the number who developed hypotension. Results Mean (standard deviation) total payments over the study were $4,270 ($459), $2,672 ($153), and $1,648 ($248) for the combined, individual, and practice-level interventions, respectively. The adjusted change over the study in patients meeting the combined blood pressure/appropriate response measure was 8.84 percentage points (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.20–11.80) for the individual-level, 3.70 (95% CI, 0.24–7.68) for the practice-level, 5.54 (95% CI, 1.92–9.52) for the combined, and 0.47 (95% CI, −3.12–4.04) for the control groups. For medications, the change was 9.07 (95% CI, 4.52–13.44), 4.98 (95% CI, 0.64–10.08), 7.26 (95% CI, 2.92–12.48), and 4.35 (95% CI, −0.28–9.28) percentage points, respectively. The adjusted estimated

  10. Shamba Maisha: Pilot agricultural intervention for food security and HIV health outcomes in Kenya: design, methods, baseline results and process evaluation of a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Craig R; Steinfeld, Rachel L; Weke, Elly; Bukusi, Elizabeth A; Hatcher, Abigail M; Shiboski, Stephen; Rheingans, Richard; Scow, Kate M; Butler, Lisa M; Otieno, Phelgona; Dworkin, Shari L; Weiser, Sheri D

    2015-01-01

    Despite advances in treatment of people living with HIV, morbidity and mortality remains unacceptably high in sub-Saharan Africa, largely due to parallel epidemics of poverty and food insecurity. We conducted a pilot cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a multisectoral agricultural and microfinance intervention (entitled Shamba Maisha) designed to improve food security, household wealth, HIV clinical outcomes and women's empowerment. The intervention was carried out at two HIV clinics in Kenya, one randomized to the intervention arm and one to the control arm. HIV-infected patients >18 years, on antiretroviral therapy, with moderate/severe food insecurity and/or body mass index (BMI) loan (~$150) to purchase the farming commodities, 2) a micro-irrigation pump, seeds, and fertilizer, and 3) trainings in sustainable agricultural practices and financial literacy. Enrollment of 140 participants took four months, and the screening-to-enrollment ratio was similar between arms. We followed participants for 12 months and conducted structured questionnaires. We also conducted a process evaluation with participants and stakeholders 3-5 months after study start and at study end. Baseline results revealed that participants at the two sites were similar in age, gender and marital status. A greater proportion of participants at the intervention site had a low BMI in comparison to participants at the control site (18% vs. 7%, p = 0.054). While median CD4 count was similar between arms, a greater proportion of participants enrolled at the intervention arm had a detectable HIV viral load compared with control participants (49% vs. 28%, respectively, p loans, agricultural challenges due to weather patterns, and a challenging partnership with the microfinance institution. We expect the results from this pilot study to provide useful data on the impacts of livelihood interventions and will help in the design of a definitive cluster RCT. This trial is registered at Clinical

  11. On the Coupling Time of the Heat-Bath Process for the Fortuin-Kasteleyn Random-Cluster Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collevecchio, Andrea; Elçi, Eren Metin; Garoni, Timothy M.; Weigel, Martin

    2018-01-01

    We consider the coupling from the past implementation of the random-cluster heat-bath process, and study its random running time, or coupling time. We focus on hypercubic lattices embedded on tori, in dimensions one to three, with cluster fugacity at least one. We make a number of conjectures regarding the asymptotic behaviour of the coupling time, motivated by rigorous results in one dimension and Monte Carlo simulations in dimensions two and three. Amongst our findings, we observe that, for generic parameter values, the distribution of the appropriately standardized coupling time converges to a Gumbel distribution, and that the standard deviation of the coupling time is asymptotic to an explicit universal constant multiple of the relaxation time. Perhaps surprisingly, we observe these results to hold both off criticality, where the coupling time closely mimics the coupon collector's problem, and also at the critical point, provided the cluster fugacity is below the value at which the transition becomes discontinuous. Finally, we consider analogous questions for the single-spin Ising heat-bath process.

  12. Patients’ general satisfaction with telephone counseling by pharmacists and effects on satisfaction with information and beliefs about medicines: results from a cluster randomized trial.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooy, M.J.; Geffen, E.C.G. van; Heerdink, E.R.; Dijk, L. van; Bouvy, M.L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Assess effects of pharmacists’ counseling by telephone on patients’ satisfaction with counseling, satisfaction with information and beliefs about medicines for newly prescribed medicines. Methods: A cluster randomized trial in Dutch community pharmacies. Patients ≥18 years were included

  13. Patients' general satisfaction with telephone counseling by pharmacists and effects on satisfaction with information and beliefs about medicines : Results from a cluster randomized trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooy, Marcel Jan; Van Geffen, Erica C G; Heerdink, Eibert R.; Van Dijk, Liset; Bouvy, Marcel L.

    2015-01-01

    Assess effects of pharmacists' counseling by telephone on patients' satisfaction with counseling, satisfaction with information and beliefs about medicines for newly prescribed medicines. Methods: A cluster randomized trial in Dutch community pharmacies. Patients ≥18 years were included when

  14. Repurposing Diflunisal for Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy: A Randomized Clinical Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berk, John L.; Suhr, Ole B.; Obici, Laura; Sekijima, Yoshiki; Zeldenrust, Steven R.; Yamashita, Taro; Heneghan, Michael A.; Gorevic, Peter D.; Litchy, William J.; Wiesman, Janice F.; Nordh, Erik; Corato, Manuel; Lozza, Alessandro; Cortese, Andrea; Robinson-Papp, Jessica; Colton, Theodore; Rybin, Denis V.; Bisbee, Alice B.; Ando, Yukio; Ikeda, Shu-ichi; Seldin, David C.; Merlini, Giampaolo; Skinner, Martha; Kelly, Jeffery W.; Dyck, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Importance Familial amyloid polyneuropathy (ATTR-FAP), a lethal genetic disease caused by aggregation of variant transthyretin, induces progressive peripheral nerve deficits and disability. Diflunisal, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, stabilizes transthyretin tetramers and prevents amyloid fibril formation in vitro. Objective To determine the effect of diflunisal on polyneuropathy progression in patients with ATTR-FAP. Design, Setting, and Patients We conducted an investigator-initiated international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study at amyloid centers in Sweden (Umea), Italy (Pavia), Japan (Matsumoto and Kumamoto), England (London), and the United States (Boston, New York, Rochester, MN) from 2006 through 2012. 130 ATTRFAP patients with clinically detectable peripheral or autonomic neuropathy were randomly assigned to diflunisal 250 mg or placebo twice daily for 2 years. Main Outcome Measures The primary endpoint, the difference in polyneuropathy progression between treatments, was measured by the Neuropathy Impairment Score plus 7 nerve tests (NIS+7) which ranges from 0 (no neurologic deficits) to 270 points (no detectable peripheral nerve function). Secondary outcomes included a quality of life questionnaire (Short Form-36 (SF-36)) and modified body mass index (mBMI). Results One hundred thirty randomized patients (66 placebo, 64 diflunisal) underwent serial NIS+7 evaluations over 2 years. Due to attrition, we employed likelihood based modeling and multiple imputation (MI) analysis of baseline to 2 year data. By MI, NIS+7 increased 25.0 points (95% CI, 18.4 to 31.6) among placebo and 8.7 points (95% CI, 3.3 to 14.1) in the diflunisal group, a difference of 16.3 points (95% CI, 8.1 to 24.5, p=0.001). Mean SF-36 physical scores fell 4.9 points (95% CI, −7.6 to −2.2) among placebo and rose 1.5 points (95% CI, −0.8 to 3.7) in the diflunisal group (p=0.003). SF-36 mental scores declined 1.1 (95% CI, −4.3 to 2.0) among placebo while

  15. Effectiveness of a multifaceted implementation strategy on physicians? referral behavior to an evidence-based psychosocial intervention in dementia: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

    D?pp, Carola ME; Graff, Maud JL; Teerenstra, Steven; Nijhuis-van der Sanden, Maria WG; Olde Rikkert, Marcel GM; Vernooij-Dassen, Myrra JFJ

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: To evaluate the effectiveness of a multifaceted implementation strategy on physicians' referral rate to and knowledge on the community occupational therapy in dementia program (COTiD program). METHODS: A cluster randomized controlled trial with 28 experimental and 17 control clusters was conducted. Cluster included a minimum of one physician, one manager, and two occupational therapists. In the control group physicians and managers received no interventions and occupational therap...

  16. Plasmon response in K, Na and Li clusters: systematics using the separable random-phase approximation with pseudo-Hamiltonians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kleinig, W.; Nesterenko, V.O.; Reinhard, P.-G.; Serra, Ll.

    1998-01-01

    The systematics of the plasmon response in spherical K, Na and Li clusters in a wide size region (8≤N≤440) is studied. We have considered two simplifying approximations whose validity has been established previously. First, a separable approach to the random-phase approximation is used. This involves an expansion of the residual interaction into a sum of separable terms until convergence is reached. Second, the electron-ion interaction is modelled by using the pseudo-Hamiltonian jellium model (MHJM) which includes nonlocal effects by means of realistic atomic pseudo-Hamiltonians. In cases where nonlocal effects are negligible the Structure Averaged Jellium Model (SAJM) has been used. Good agreement with available experimental data is achieved for K, Na (using the SAJM) and small Li clusters (invoking the PHJM). The trends for peak position and width are generally well reproduced, even up to details of the Landau fragmentation in several clusters. Less good agreement, however, is found for large Li clusters. This remains an open question

  17. Review of the randomized clinical stroke rehabilitation trials in 2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabadi, Meheroz H

    2011-02-01

    Recent review of the available evidence on interventions for motor recovery after stroke, showed that improvements in recovery of arm function were seen for constraint-induced movement therapy, electromyographic biofeedback, mental practice with motor imagery, and robotics. Similar improvement in transfer ability or balance were seen with repetitive task training, biofeedback, and training with a moving platform. Walking speed was improved by physical fitness training, high-intensity physiotherapy and repetitive task training. However, most of these trials were small and had design limitations. In this article, randomized control trials (RCT's) published in 2009 of rehabilitation therapies for acute (≤ 2 weeks), sub-acute (2 to 12 weeks) and chronic (≥ 12 weeks) stroke was reviewed. A Medline search was performed to identify all RCT's in stroke rehabilitation in the year 2009. The search strategy that was used for PubMed is presented in the Appendix 1. The objective was to examine the effectiveness of these treatment modalities in stroke rehabilitation. This generated 35 RCT's under 5 categories which were found and analyzed. The methodological quality was assessed by using the PEDro scale for external and internal validity. These trials were primarily efficacy studies. Most of these studies enrolled small numbers of patient which precluded their clinical applicability (limited external validity). However, the constraint induced movement therapy (CIT), regularly used in chronic stroke patients did not improve affected arm-hand function when used in acute stroke patients at ≤ 4 weeks. Intensive CIT did not lead to motor improvement in arm-hand function. Robotic arm treatment helped decrease motor impairment and improved function in chronic stroke patients only. Therapist provided exercise programs (when self-administered by patients during their off-therapy time in a rehabilitation setting) did improve arm-hand function. Tai Chi exercises helped improve

  18. Effectiveness of a multifaceted implementation strategy on physicians' referral behavior to an evidence-based psychosocial intervention in dementia: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dopp, C.M.E.; Graff, M.J.L.; Teerenstra, S.; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M.W.; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.; Vernooij-Dassen, M.J.F.J.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: To evaluate the effectiveness of a multifaceted implementation strategy on physicians' referral rate to and knowledge on the community occupational therapy in dementia program (COTiD program). METHODS: A cluster randomized controlled trial with 28 experimental and 17 control clusters was

  19. Vascular care in patients with Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular lesions-a randomized clinical trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Richard, Edo; Kuiper, Roy; Dijkgraaf, Marcel G. W.; van Gool, Willem A.

    2009-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether vascular care slows dementia progression in patients with Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular lesions on neuroimaging. DESIGN: Multicenter randomized controlled clinical trial with 2-year follow-up. SETTING: Neurological and geriatric outpatient clinics in 10

  20. Social media-delivered sexual health intervention: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, Sheana S; Levine, Deborah K; Black, Sandra R; Schmiege, Sarah J; Santelli, John

    2012-11-01

    Youth are using social media regularly and represent a group facing substantial risk for sexually transmitted infection (STI). Although there is evidence that the Internet can be used effectively in supporting healthy sexual behavior, this has not yet extended to social networking sites. To determine whether STI prevention messages delivered via Facebook are efficacious in preventing increases in sexual risk behavior at 2 and 6 months. Cluster RCT, October 2010-May 2011. Individuals (seeds) recruited in multiple settings (online, via newspaper ads and face-to-face) were asked to recruit three friends, who in turn recruited additional friends, extending three waves from the seed. Seeds and waves of friends were considered networks and exposed to either the intervention or control condition. Exposure to Just/Us, a Facebook page developed with youth input, or to control content on 18-24 News, a Facebook page with current events for 2 months. Condom use at last sex and proportion of sex acts protected by condoms. Repeated measures of nested data were used to model main effects of exposure to Just/Us and time by treatment interaction. A total of 1578 participants enrolled, with 14% Latino and 35% African-American; 75% of participants completed at least one study follow-up. Time by treatment effects were observed at 2 months for condom use (intervention 68% vs control 56%, p=0.04) and proportion of sex acts protected by condoms (intervention 63% vs control 57%, p=0.03) where intervention participation reduced the tendency for condom use to decrease over time. No effects were seen at 6 months. Social networking sites may be venues for efficacious health education interventions. More work is needed to understand what elements of social media are compelling, how network membership influences effects, and whether linking social media to clinical and social services can be beneficial. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.govNCT00725959. Copyright © 2012 American

  1. Leveraging microfinance to impact HIV and financial behaviors among adolescents and their mothers in West Bengal: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spielberg, Freya; Crookston, Benjamin T; Chanani, Sheila; Kim, Jaewhan; Kline, Sean; Gray, Bobbi L

    2013-01-01

    Microfinance can be used to reach women and adolescent girls with HIV prevention education. We report findings from a cluster-randomized control trial among 55 villages in West Bengal to determine the impact of non-formal education on knowledge, attitudes and behaviors for HIV prevention and savings. Multilevel regression models were used to evaluate differences between groups for key outcomes while adjusting for cluster correlation and differences in baseline characteristics. Women and girls who received HIV education showed significant gains in HIV knowledge, awareness that condoms can prevent HIV, self-efficacy for HIV prevention, and confirmed use of clean needles, as compared to the control group. Condom use was rare and did not improve for women. While HIV testing was uncommon, knowledge of HIV-testing resources significantly increased among girls, and trended in the positive direction among women in intervention groups. Conversely, the savings education showed no impact on financial knowledge or behavior change.

  2. Validity of randomized clinical trials in gastroenterology from 1964-2000

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaergard, Lise L; Frederiksen, Sarah L; Gluud, Christian

    2002-01-01

    The internal validity of clinical trials depends on the adequacy of the reported methodological quality. We assessed the methodological quality of all 383 randomized clinical trials published in GASTROENTEROLOGY as original articles from 1964 to 2000.......The internal validity of clinical trials depends on the adequacy of the reported methodological quality. We assessed the methodological quality of all 383 randomized clinical trials published in GASTROENTEROLOGY as original articles from 1964 to 2000....

  3. Strengthening referral of sick children from the private health sector and its impact on referral uptake in Uganda: a cluster randomized controlled trial protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther Buregyeya

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Uganda’s under-five mortality is high, currently estimated at 66/1000 live births. Poor referral of sick children that seek care from the private sector is one of the contributory factors. The proposed intervention aims to improve referral and uptake of referral advice for children that seek care from private facilities (registered drug shops/private clinics. Methods/Design A cluster randomized design will be applied to test the intervention in Mukono District, central Uganda. A sample of study clusters will implement the intervention. The intervention will consist of three components: i raising awareness in the community: village health teams will discuss the importance of referral and encourage households to save money, ii training and supervision of providers in the private sector to diagnose, treat and refer sick children, iii regular meetings between the public and private providers (convened by the district health team to discuss the referral system. Twenty clusters will be included in the study, randomized in the ratio of 1:1. A minimum of 319 sick children per cluster and the total number of sick children to be recruited from all clusters will be 8910; adjusting for a 10 % loss to follow up and possible withdrawal of private outlets. Discussion The immediate sustainable impact will be appropriate treatment of sick children. The intervention is likely to impact on private sector practices since the scope of the services they provide will have expanded. The proposed study is also likely to have an impact on families as; i they may appreciate the importance of timely referral on child illness management, ii the cost savings related to reduced morbidity will be used by household to access other social services. The linkage between the private and public sectors will create a potential avenue for delivery of other public health interventions and improved working relations in the two sectors. Further, improved quality of

  4. Assessing the feasibility of interrupting the transmission of soil-transmitted helminths through mass drug administration: The DeWorm3 cluster randomized trial protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ásbjörnsdóttir, Kristjana Hrönn; Ajjampur, Sitara S Rao; Anderson, Roy M; Bailey, Robin; Gardiner, Iain; Halliday, Katherine E; Ibikounle, Moudachirou; Kalua, Khumbo; Kang, Gagandeep; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Luty, Adrian J F; Means, Arianna Rubin; Oswald, William; Pullan, Rachel L; Sarkar, Rajiv; Schär, Fabian; Szpiro, Adam; Truscott, James E; Werkman, Marleen; Yard, Elodie; Walson, Judd L

    2018-01-01

    Current control strategies for soil-transmitted helminths (STH) emphasize morbidity control through mass drug administration (MDA) targeting preschool- and school-age children, women of childbearing age and adults in certain high-risk occupations such as agricultural laborers or miners. This strategy is effective at reducing morbidity in those treated but, without massive economic development, it is unlikely it will interrupt transmission. MDA will therefore need to continue indefinitely to maintain benefit. Mathematical models suggest that transmission interruption may be achievable through MDA alone, provided that all age groups are targeted with high coverage. The DeWorm3 Project will test the feasibility of interrupting STH transmission using biannual MDA targeting all age groups. Study sites (population ≥80,000) have been identified in Benin, Malawi and India. Each site will be divided into 40 clusters, to be randomized 1:1 to three years of twice-annual community-wide MDA or standard-of-care MDA, typically annual school-based deworming. Community-wide MDA will be delivered door-to-door, while standard-of-care MDA will be delivered according to national guidelines. The primary outcome is transmission interruption of the STH species present at each site, defined as weighted cluster-level prevalence ≤2% by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), 24 months after the final round of MDA. Secondary outcomes include the endline prevalence of STH, overall and by species, and the endline prevalence of STH among children under five as an indicator of incident infections. Secondary analyses will identify cluster-level factors associated with transmission interruption. Prevalence will be assessed using qPCR of stool samples collected from a random sample of cluster residents at baseline, six months after the final round of MDA and 24 months post-MDA. A smaller number of individuals in each cluster will be followed with annual sampling to monitor trends in

  5. The PULSAR Specialist Care protocol: a stepped-wedge cluster randomized control trial of a training intervention for community mental health teams in recovery-oriented practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shawyer, Frances; Enticott, Joanne C; Brophy, Lisa; Bruxner, Annie; Fossey, Ellie; Inder, Brett; Julian, John; Kakuma, Ritsuko; Weller, Penelope; Wilson-Evered, Elisabeth; Edan, Vrinda; Slade, Mike; Meadows, Graham N

    2017-05-08

    Recovery features strongly in Australian mental health policy; however, evidence is limited for the efficacy of recovery-oriented practice at the service level. This paper describes the Principles Unite Local Services Assisting Recovery (PULSAR) Specialist Care trial protocol for a recovery-oriented practice training intervention delivered to specialist mental health services staff. The primary aim is to evaluate whether adult consumers accessing services where staff have received the intervention report superior recovery outcomes compared to adult consumers accessing services where staff have not yet received the intervention. A qualitative sub-study aims to examine staff and consumer views on implementing recovery-oriented practice. A process evaluation sub-study aims to articulate important explanatory variables affecting the interventions rollout and outcomes. The mixed methods design incorporates a two-step stepped-wedge cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) examining cross-sectional data from three phases, and nested qualitative and process evaluation sub-studies. Participating specialist mental health care services in Melbourne, Victoria are divided into 14 clusters with half randomly allocated to receive the staff training in year one and half in year two. Research participants are consumers aged 18-75 years who attended the cluster within a previous three-month period either at baseline, 12 (step 1) or 24 months (step 2). In the two nested sub-studies, participation extends to cluster staff. The primary outcome is the Questionnaire about the Process of Recovery collected from 756 consumers (252 each at baseline, step 1, step 2). Secondary and other outcomes measuring well-being, service satisfaction and health economic impact are collected from a subset of 252 consumers (63 at baseline; 126 at step 1; 63 at step 2) via interviews. Interview-based longitudinal data are also collected 12 months apart from 88 consumers with a psychotic disorder

  6. A combined community- and facility-based approach to improve pregnancy outcomes in low-resource settings: a Global Network cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasha, Omrana; McClure, Elizabeth M; Wright, Linda L; Saleem, Sarah; Goudar, Shivaprasad S; Chomba, Elwyn; Patel, Archana; Esamai, Fabian; Garces, Ana; Althabe, Fernando; Kodkany, Bhala; Mabeya, Hillary; Manasyan, Albert; Carlo, Waldemar A; Derman, Richard J; Hibberd, Patricia L; Liechty, Edward K; Krebs, Nancy; Hambidge, K Michael; Buekens, Pierre; Moore, Janet; Jobe, Alan H; Koso-Thomas, Marion; Wallace, Dennis D; Stalls, Suzanne; Goldenberg, Robert L

    2013-10-03

    Fetal and neonatal mortality rates in low-income countries are at least 10-fold greater than in high-income countries. These differences have been related to poor access to and poor quality of obstetric and neonatal care. This trial tested the hypothesis that teams of health care providers, administrators and local residents can address the problem of limited access to quality obstetric and neonatal care and lead to a reduction in perinatal mortality in intervention compared to control locations. In seven geographic areas in five low-income and one middle-income country, most with high perinatal mortality rates and substantial numbers of home deliveries, we performed a cluster randomized non-masked trial of a package of interventions that included community mobilization focusing on birth planning and hospital transport, community birth attendant training in problem recognition, and facility staff training in the management of obstetric and neonatal emergencies. The primary outcome was perinatal mortality at ≥28 weeks gestation or birth weight ≥1000 g. Despite extensive effort in all sites in each of the three intervention areas, no differences emerged in the primary or any secondary outcome between the intervention and control clusters. In both groups, the mean perinatal mortality was 40.1/1,000 births (P = 0.9996). Neither were there differences between the two groups in outcomes in the last six months of the project, in the year following intervention cessation, nor in the clusters that best implemented the intervention. This cluster randomized comprehensive, large-scale, multi-sector intervention did not result in detectable impact on the proposed outcomes. While this does not negate the importance of these interventions, we expect that achieving improvement in pregnancy outcomes in these settings will require substantially more obstetric and neonatal care infrastructure than was available at the sites during this trial, and without them provider training

  7. Impact of preoperative patient education on the prevention of postoperative complications after major visceral surgery: the cluster randomized controlled PEDUCAT trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaiber, Ulla; Stephan-Paulsen, Lisa M; Bruckner, Thomas; Müller, Gisela; Auer, Silke; Farrenkopf, Ingrid; Fink, Christine; Dörr-Harim, Colette; Diener, Markus K; Büchler, Markus W; Knebel, Phillip

    2018-05-24

    The prevention of postoperative complications is of prime importance after complex elective abdominal operations. Preoperative patient education may prevent postoperative complications and improve patients' wellbeing, but evidence for its efficacy is poor. The aims of the PEDUCAT trial were (a) to assess the impact of preoperative patient education on postoperative complications and patient-reported outcomes in patients scheduled for elective complex visceral surgery and (b) to evaluate the feasibility of cluster randomization in this setting. Adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) scheduled for elective major visceral surgery were randomly assigned in clusters to attend a preoperative education seminar or to the control group receiving the department's standard care. Outcome measures were the postoperative complications pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, burst abdomen, and in-hospital fall, together with patient-reported outcomes (postoperative pain, anxiety and depression, patient satisfaction, quality of life), length of hospital stay (LOS), and postoperative mortality within 30 days after the index operation. Statistical analysis was primarily by intention to treat. In total 244 patients (60 clusters) were finally included (intervention group 138 patients; control group 106 patients). Allocation of hospital wards instead of individual patients facilitated study conduct and reduced confusion about group assignment. In the intervention and control groups respectively, pneumonia occurred in 7.4% versus 8.3% (p = 0.807), pulmonary embolism in 1.6% versus 1.0% (p = 0.707), burst abdomen in 4.2% versus 1.0% (p = 0.165), and in-hospital falls in 0.0% versus 4.2% of patients (p = 0.024). DVT did not occur in any of the patients. Mortality rates (1.4% versus 1.9%, p = 0.790) and LOS (14.2 (+/- 12.0) days versus 16.1 (+/- 15.0) days, p = 0.285) were also similar in the intervention and control groups. Cluster

  8. Control of anxiety through music in a head and neckoutpatient clinic: a randomized clinical trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Alves Firmeza

    Full Text Available Abstract OBJECTIVE Evaluating the effectiveness of a musical intervention in reducing anxiety and vital parameters in people suffering from head and neck cancer. METHOD A randomized controlled clinical trial, performed in a head and neck outpatient clinic with 40 participants, subdivided into two groups (intervention and control.The classicalmusic“Spring” from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi was used as an intervention.The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI was used as the data collectioninstrument,along with an inventory of socio-demographic and clinical data. Student'st-test was used to verify intragroup and intergroup statistical significance. RESULTS Participants presented a statistically significant reduction in levels of perceived anxiety (t= 12.68; p<0.001,as well as blood pressure levels (t = 4.56; p<0.001; pulse (t = 6.15; p<0.001 and respiratory rate (t = 5.10; p<0.001. CONCLUSION Music has proven to be an effective non-pharmacological therapeutic resource in managinganxiety in an outpatient setting for people with cancer, as well as in reducing blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate. Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials: RBR-7W4YJJ

  9. The non-random clustering of non-synonymous substitutions and its relationship to evolutionary rate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stone Eric A

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein sequences are subject to a mosaic of constraint. Changes to functional domains and buried residues, for example, are more apt to disrupt protein structure and function than are changes to residues participating in loops or exposed to solvent. Regions of constraint on the tertiary structure of a protein often result in loose segmentation of its primary structure into stretches of slowly- and rapidly-evolving amino acids. This clustering can be exploited, and existing methods have done so by relying on local sequence conservation as a signature of selection to help identify functionally important regions within proteins. We invert this paradigm by leveraging the regional nature of protein structure and function to both illuminate and make use of genome-wide patterns of local sequence conservation. Results Our hypothesis is that the regional nature of structural and functional constraints will assert a positive autocorrelation on the evolutionary rates of neighboring sites, which, in a pairwise comparison of orthologous proteins, will manifest itself as the clustering of non-synonymous changes across the amino acid sequence. We introduce a dispersion ratio statistic to test this and related hypotheses. Using genome-wide interspecific comparisons of orthologous protein pairs, we reveal a strong log-linear relationship between the degree of clustering and the intensity of constraint. We further demonstrate how this relationship varies with the evolutionary distance between the species being compared. We provide some evidence that proteins with a history of positive selection deviate from genome-wide trends. Conclusions We find a significant association between the evolutionary rate of a protein and the degree to which non-synonymous changes cluster along its primary sequence. We show that clustering is a non-redundant predictor of evolutionary rate, and we speculate that conflicting signals of clustering and constraint may

  10. A comparison of three clustering methods for finding subgroups in MRI, SMS or clinical data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kent, Peter; Jensen, Rikke K; Kongsted, Alice

    2014-01-01

    ). There is a scarcity of head-to-head comparisons that can inform the choice of which clustering method might be suitable for particular clinical datasets and research questions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to perform a head-to-head comparison of three commonly available methods (SPSS TwoStep CA, Latent Gold...... LCA and SNOB LCA). METHODS: The performance of these three methods was compared: (i) quantitatively using the number of subgroups detected, the classification probability of individuals into subgroups, the reproducibility of results, and (ii) qualitatively using subjective judgments about each program...... classify individuals into those subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: Our subjective judgement was that Latent Gold offered the best balance of sensitivity to subgroups, ease of use and presentation of results with these datasets but we recognise that different clustering methods may suit other types of data...

  11. Study protocol: cost-effectiveness of multidisciplinary nutritional support for undernutrition in older adults in nursing home and home-care: cluster randomized controlled trial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beck, Anne Marie; Gøgsig Christensen, Annette; Stenbæk Hansen, Birthe

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Older adults in nursing home and home-care are a particularly high-risk population for weight loss or poor nutrition. One negative consequence of undernutrition is increased health care costs. Several potentially modifiable nutritional risk factors increase the likelihood of weight loss......-effectiveness of nutritional support among undernourished older adults and none of these have used such a multidisciplinary approach. METHODS: An 11 week cluster randomized trial to assess the cost-effectiveness of multidisciplinary nutritional support for undernutrition in older adults in nursing home and home...... older adults in home-care and nursing home and contribute to important research. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov 2013 NCT01873456....

  12. Rationale and design of the Study of a Tele-pharmacy Intervention for Chronic diseases to Improve Treatment adherence (STIC2IT): A cluster randomized pragmatic trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhry, Niteesh K.; Isaac, Thomas; Lauffenburger, Julie C.; Gopalakrishnan, Chandrasekar; Khan, Nazleen F.; Lee, Marianne; Vachon, Amy; Iliadis, Tanya L.; Hollands, Whitney; Doheny, Scott; Elman, Sandra; Kraft, Jacqueline M.; Naseem, Samrah; Gagne, Joshua J.; Jackevicius, Cynthia A.; Fischer, Michael A.; Solomon, Daniel H.; Sequist, Thomas D.

    2016-01-01

    Background Approximately half of patients with chronic cardiometabolic conditions are non-adherent with their prescribed medications. Interventions to improve adherence have been only modestly effective because they often address single barriers to adherence, intervene at single points in time, or are imprecisely targeted to patients who may or may not need adherence assistance. Objective To evaluate the effect of a multi-component, behaviorally-tailored pharmacist-based intervention to improve adherence to medications for diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. Trial design The STIC2IT (Study of a Tele-pharmacy Intervention for Chronic diseases To Improve Treatment adherence) trial is a cluster-randomized pragmatic trial testing the impact of a pharmacist-led multi-component intervention that uses behavioral interviewing, text messaging, mailed progress reports and video visits. Targeted patients are those who are non-adherent to glucose-lowering, anti-hypertensive, or statin medications and who also have evidence of poor disease control. The intervention is tailored to patients’ individual health barriers and their level of health activation. We cluster randomized 14 practice sites of a large multi-specialty group practice to receive either the pharmacist-based intervention or usual care. STIC2IT has enrolled 4,076 patients to be followed for 12 months after randomization. The trial’s primary outcome is medication adherence, assessed using pharmacy claims data. Secondary outcomes are disease control and healthcare resource utilization. Conclusion This trial will determine whether a technologically-enabled, behaviorally-targeted pharmacist-based intervention results in improved adherence and disease control. If effective, this strategy could be a scalable method of offering tailored adherence support to those with the greatest clinical need. PMID:27659887

  13. Effects on musculoskeletal pain from "Take a Stand!" - a cluster-randomized controlled trial reducing sitting time among office workers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Danquah, Ida Høgstedt; Kloster, Stine; Holtermann, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Objectives Prolonged sitting at work has been found to increase risk for musculoskeletal pain. The office-based intervention "Take a Stand!" was effective in reducing sitting time at work. We aimed to study the effect of the intervention on a secondary outcome: musculoskeletal pain. Methods Take...... a Stand! included 19 offices (317 workers) at four workplaces cluster randomized to intervention or control. The multicomponent intervention lasted three months and included management support, environmental changes, and local adaptation. Control participants behaved as usual. Musculoskeletal pain...

  14. Effects of a guided web-based smoking cessation program with telephone counseling: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehring, Michael; Haag, Max; Linde, Klaus; Wagenpfeil, Stefan; Schneider, Antonius

    2014-09-24

    Preliminary findings suggest that Web-based interventions may be effective in achieving significant smoking cessation. To date, very few findings are available for primary care patients, and especially for the involvement of general practitioners. Our goal was to examine the short-term effectiveness of a fully automated Web-based coaching program in combination with accompanied telephone counseling in smoking cessation in a primary care setting. The study was an unblinded cluster-randomized trial with an observation period of 12 weeks. Individuals recruited by general practitioners randomized to the intervention group participated in a Web-based coaching program based on education, motivation, exercise guidance, daily short message service (SMS) reminding, weekly feedback through Internet, and active monitoring by general practitioners. All components of the program are fully automated. Participants in the control group received usual care and advice from their practitioner without the Web-based coaching program. The main outcome was the biochemically confirmed smoking status after 12 weeks. We recruited 168 participants (86 intervention group, 82 control group) into the study. For 51 participants from the intervention group and 70 participants from the control group, follow-up data were available both at baseline and 12 weeks. Very few patients (9.8%, 5/51) from the intervention group and from the control group (8.6%, 6/70) successfully managed smoking cessation (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.25-3.0; P=.816). Similar results were found within the intent-to-treat analysis: 5.8% (5/86) of the intervention group and 7.3% (6/82) of the control group (OR 1.28, 95% CI 0.38-4.36; P=.694). The number of smoked cigarettes per day decreased on average by 9.3 in the intervention group and by 6.6 in the control group (2.7 mean difference; 95% CI -5.33 to -0.58; P=.045). After adjustment for the baseline value, age, gender, and height, this significance decreases (mean difference 2.2; 95

  15. PRENACEL - a mHealth messaging system to complement antenatal care: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira-Ciabati, Lívia; Vieira, Carolina Sales; Franzon, Ana Carolina Arruda; Alves, Domingos; Zaratini, Fabiani Spessoto; Braga, Giordana Campos; Sanchez, Jazmin Andrea Cifuentes; Bonifácio, Lívia Pimenta; Andrade, Magna Santos; Fernandes, Mariana; Quintana, Silvana Maria; Fabio, Suzi Volpato; Pileggi, Vicky Nogueira; Vieira, Elisabeth Meloni; Souza, João Paulo

    2017-11-07

    The aim of this study was to determine whether PRENACEL (a bi-directional, mobile-phone based, short text message service (SMS)) increases the coverage of recommended antenatal care (ANC) practices. A parallel, cluster-randomized trial in which 20 public primary Health Care Units (PHCUs) were randomly allocated to the intervention (10 PHCUs) or control (10 PHCUs) group. The study population included pregnant women aged 18 or above with a gestational age of 20 weeks or less. Pregnant women receiving ANC in intervention PHCUs were invited through leaflets and posters to register in PRENACEL. Women who registered in PRENACEL received a weekly set of short text messages with health education and health promotion content related to pregnancy and childbirth and were also able to clarify ANC queries through SMS. All women received routine ANC. The primary outcome was the proportion of women with high ANC Score, a composite measure of coverage of recommended ANC practices. Chi-square or Fisher's exact tests and multivariate log-binomial regression were used to analyze the outcomes. A total of 1210 eligible women received ANC in the participating PHCUs and took part of this study (770 in the intervention group and 440 in the control group). 20.4% (157/770) of intervention-group women registered in PRENACEL, but only 116 read all messages (73.9% of women who registered in PRENACEL, 116/157). The adjusted intention-to-treat analysis suggested no difference between intervention and control groups in the primary outcome (Adjusted Relative Risk (AdjRR): 1.05 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.00-1.09). Both crude and adjusted per-protocol analysis suggested a positive effect of PRENACEL (Crude RR (95% CI): 1.14 (1.06-1.22), AdjRR (95% CI): 1.12 (1.05-1.21). The multivariate analysis also suggests that the PRENACEL group (women who read all SMS) had higher mean ANC score [48.5 (±4.2) vs 45.2 (±8.7), p celular, aumenta a cobertura das práticas recomendadas de cuidados pr

  16. A Cluster-Randomized Trial of Restorative Practices: An Illustration to Spur High-Quality Research and Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Joie D; Chinman, Matthew; Ebener, Patricia; Phillips, Andrea; Xenakis, Lea; Malone, Patrick S

    2016-01-01

    Restorative Practices in schools lack rigorous evaluation studies. As an example of rigorous school-based research, this paper describes the first randomized control trial of restorative practices to date, the Study of Restorative Practices. It is a 5-year, cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Restorative Practices Intervention (RPI) in 14 middle schools in Maine to assess whether RPI impacts both positive developmental outcomes and problem behaviors and whether the effects persist during the transition from middle to high school. The two-year RPI intervention began in the 2014-2015 school year. The study's rationale and theoretical concerns are discussed along with methodological concerns including teacher professional development. The theoretical rationale and description of the methods from this study may be useful to others conducting rigorous research and evaluation in this area.

  17. A cluster-randomized controlled study to evaluate a team coaching concept for improving teamwork and patient-centeredness in rehabilitation teams.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirjam Körner

    Full Text Available Although the relevance of interprofessional teamwork in the delivery of patient-centered care is well known, there is a lack of interventions for improving team interaction in the context of rehabilitation in Germany. The aim of the present study is to evaluate whether a specially developed team coaching concept (TCC could improve both teamwork and patient-centeredness.A multicenter, cluster-randomized controlled intervention study was conducted with both staff and patient questionnaires. Data was collected at ten German rehabilitation clinics (five clusters of different indication fields before (t1 and after (t2 the intervention. Intervention clinics received the TCC, while control clinics did not receive any treatment. Staff questionnaires were used to measure internal participation and other aspects of teamwork, such as team organization, while patient questionnaires assessed patient-centeredness. A multivariate analysis of variance was applied for data analysis.In order to analyze the effect of TCC on internal participation and teamwork, 305 questionnaires were included for t1 and 213 for t2 in the staff survey. In the patient survey, 523 questionnaires were included for t1 and 545 for t2. The TCC improved team organization, willingness to accept responsibility and knowledge integration according to staff, with small effect sizes (univariate: η2=.010-.017, whereas other parameters including internal participation, team leadership and cohesion did not improve due to the intervention. The patient survey did not show any improvements on the assessed dimensions.The TCC improved dimensions that were addressed directly by the approach and were linked to the clinics' needs, such as restructured team meetings and better exchange of information. The TCC can be used to improve team organization, willingness to accept responsibility, and knowledge integration in rehabilitation practice, but some further evaluation is needed to understand contextual

  18. A cluster-randomized controlled study to evaluate a team coaching concept for improving teamwork and patient-centeredness in rehabilitation teams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Körner, Mirjam; Luzay, Leonie; Plewnia, Anne; Becker, Sonja; Rundel, Manfred; Zimmermann, Linda; Müller, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Although the relevance of interprofessional teamwork in the delivery of patient-centered care is well known, there is a lack of interventions for improving team interaction in the context of rehabilitation in Germany. The aim of the present study is to evaluate whether a specially developed team coaching concept (TCC) could improve both teamwork and patient-centeredness. A multicenter, cluster-randomized controlled intervention study was conducted with both staff and patient questionnaires. Data was collected at ten German rehabilitation clinics (five clusters) of different indication fields before (t1) and after (t2) the intervention. Intervention clinics received the TCC, while control clinics did not receive any treatment. Staff questionnaires were used to measure internal participation and other aspects of teamwork, such as team organization, while patient questionnaires assessed patient-centeredness. A multivariate analysis of variance was applied for data analysis. In order to analyze the effect of TCC on internal participation and teamwork, 305 questionnaires were included for t1 and 213 for t2 in the staff survey. In the patient survey, 523 questionnaires were included for t1 and 545 for t2. The TCC improved team organization, willingness to accept responsibility and knowledge integration according to staff, with small effect sizes (univariate: η2=.010-.017), whereas other parameters including internal participation, team leadership and cohesion did not improve due to the intervention. The patient survey did not show any improvements on the assessed dimensions. The TCC improved dimensions that were addressed directly by the approach and were linked to the clinics' needs, such as restructured team meetings and better exchange of information. The TCC can be used to improve team organization, willingness to accept responsibility, and knowledge integration in rehabilitation practice, but some further evaluation is needed to understand contextual factors and

  19. Protocol: Adaptive Implementation of Effective Programs Trial (ADEPT): cluster randomized SMART trial comparing a standard versus enhanced implementation strategy to improve outcomes of a mood disorders program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilbourne, Amy M; Almirall, Daniel; Eisenberg, Daniel; Waxmonsky, Jeanette; Goodrich, David E; Fortney, John C; Kirchner, JoAnn E; Solberg, Leif I; Main, Deborah; Bauer, Mark S; Kyle, Julia; Murphy, Susan A; Nord, Kristina M; Thomas, Marshall R

    2014-09-30

    Despite the availability of psychosocial evidence-based practices (EBPs), treatment and outcomes for persons with mental disorders remain suboptimal. Replicating Effective Programs (REP), an effective implementation strategy, still resulted in less than half of sites using an EBP. The primary aim of this cluster randomized trial is to determine, among sites not initially responding to REP, the effect of adaptive implementation strategies that begin with an External Facilitator (EF) or with an External Facilitator plus an Internal Facilitator (IF) on improved EBP use and patient outcomes in 12 months. This study employs a sequential multiple assignment randomized trial (SMART) design to build an adaptive implementation strategy. The EBP to be implemented is life goals (LG) for patients with mood disorders across 80 community-based outpatient clinics (N = 1,600 patients) from different U.S. regions. Sites not initially responding to REP (defined as implementation costs, and organizational change. This study design will determine whether an off-site EF alone versus the addition of an on-site IF improves EBP uptake and patient outcomes among sites that do not respond initially to REP. It will also examine the value of delaying the provision of EF/IF for sites that continue to not respond despite EF. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02151331.

  20. Effects of Live and Educational Music Therapy on Working Alliance and Trust With Patients on Detoxification Unit: A Four-Group Cluster-Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Michael J

    2016-11-09

    Lyric analysis is a commonly utilized music therapy intervention for clients in substance abuse rehabilitation wherein participants interpret song lyrics related to their clinical objectives. For these patients, working alliance and trust in the therapist represent consequential factors that may influence outcomes. However, there is a lack of randomized controlled music therapy studies investigating working alliance and trust in the therapist within lyric analysis interventions for patients with addictions. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively differentiate live versus recorded and educational versus recreational music therapy interventions via measures of working alliance and trust with patients on a detoxification unit. Participants (N = 130) were cluster randomized in a single-session posttest-only design to one of four conditions: Live educational music therapy, recorded educational music therapy, education without music, or recreational music therapy. Dependent measures included working alliance and trust in the therapist. Educational music therapy interventions were scripted lyric analyses. There was no statistically significant between-group difference in any of the measures. Although not significant, a greater number of patients and research participants attended live educational music therapy sessions. Between-group descriptive data were consistently similar but attendance trends may have implications for engaging patients and billing. Implications for clinical practice, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are provided.

  1. Effectiveness of a selective intervention program targeting personality risk factors for alcohol misuse among young adolescents: results of a cluster randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lammers, J.; Goossens, F.; Conrod, P.; Engels, R.C.M.E.; Wiers, R.W.H.J.; Kleinjan, M.

    2015-01-01

    Aim The effectiveness of Preventure was tested on drinking behaviour of young adolescents in secondary education in the Netherlands. Design A cluster randomized controlled trial was carried out, with participants assigned randomly to a two-session coping skills intervention or a control

  2. Cost-Effectiveness of a Long-Term Internet-Delivered Worksite Health Promotion Programme on Physical Activity and Nutrition: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robroek, Suzan J. W.; Polinder, Suzanne; Bredt, Folef J.; Burdorf, Alex

    2012-01-01

    This study aims to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a long-term workplace health promotion programme on physical activity (PA) and nutrition. In total, 924 participants enrolled in a 2-year cluster randomized controlled trial, with departments (n = 74) within companies (n = 6) as the unit of randomization. The intervention was compared with a…

  3. Using the 4 Pillars™ Practice Transformation Program to increase adult Tdap immunization in a randomized controlled cluster trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowalk, Mary Patricia; Lin, Chyongchiou J; Pavlik, Valory N; Brown, Anthony E; Zhang, Song; Moehling, Krissy K; Raviotta, Jonathan M; South-Paul, Jeannette E; Hawk, Mary; Ricci, Edmund M; Middleton, Donald B; Patel, Suchita A; Ahmed, Faruque; Zimmerman, Richard K

    2016-09-22

    National adult Tdap vaccination rates are low, reinforcing the need to increase vaccination efforts in primary care offices. The 4 Pillars™ Practice Transformation Program is an evidence-based, step-by-step guide to improving primary care adult vaccination with an online implementation tracking dashboard. This study tested the effectiveness of an intervention to increase adult Tdap vaccination that included the 4 Pillars™ Program, provider education, and one-on-one coaching of practice-based immunization champions. 25 primary care practices participated in a randomized controlled cluster trial (RCCT) in Year 1 (6/1/2013-5/31/2014) and a pre-post study in Year 2 (6/1/2014-1/31/2015). Baseline year was 6/1/2012-5/31/2013, with data analyzed in 2016. Demographic and vaccination data were derived from de-identified electronic medical record (EMR) extractions. The primary outcomes were vaccination rates and percentage point (PP) changes/year. The cohort consisted of 70,549 patients ⩾18years who were seen in the practices ⩾1 time each year, with a baseline mean age=55years; 35% were men; 56% were non-white; 35% were Hispanic and 20% were on Medicare. Baseline vaccination rate averaged 35%. In the Year 1 RCCT, cumulative Tdap vaccination increased significantly in both intervention and control groups; in both cities, the percentage point increases in the intervention groups (7.7 PP in Pittsburgh and 9.9 PP in Houston) were significantly higher (P<0.001) than in the control groups (6.4 PP in Pittsburgh and 7.6 PP in Houston). In the Year 2 pre-post study, in both cities, active intervention groups increased rates significantly more (6.2 PP for both) than maintenance groups (2.2 PP in Pittsburgh and 4.1 PP in Houston; P<0.001). An intervention that includes the 4 Pillars™ Practice Transformation Program, staff education and coaching is effective for increasing adult Tdap immunization rates within primary care practices. Clinical Trial Registry Name/Number: NCT

  4. Solar drinking water disinfection (SODIS to reduce childhood diarrhoea in rural Bolivia: a cluster-randomized, controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Mäusezahl

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Solar drinking water disinfection (SODIS is a low-cost, point-of-use water purification method that has been disseminated globally. Laboratory studies suggest that SODIS is highly efficacious in inactivating waterborne pathogens. Previous field studies provided limited evidence for its effectiveness in reducing diarrhoea.We conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial in 22 rural communities in Bolivia to evaluate the effect of SODIS in reducing diarrhoea among children under the age of 5 y. A local nongovernmental organisation conducted a standardised interactive SODIS-promotion campaign in 11 communities targeting households, communities, and primary schools. Mothers completed a daily child health diary for 1 y. Within the intervention arm 225 households (376 children were trained to expose water-filled polyethyleneteraphtalate bottles to sunlight. Eleven communities (200 households, 349 children served as a control. We recorded 166,971 person-days of observation during the trial representing 79.9% and 78.9% of the total possible person-days of child observation in intervention and control arms, respectively. Mean compliance with SODIS was 32.1%. The reported incidence rate of gastrointestinal illness in children in the intervention arm was 3.6 compared to 4.3 episodes/year at risk in the control arm. The relative rate of diarrhoea adjusted for intracluster correlation was 0.81 (95% confidence interval 0.59-1.12. The median length of diarrhoea was 3 d in both groups.Despite an extensive SODIS promotion campaign we found only moderate compliance with the intervention and no strong evidence for a substantive reduction in diarrhoea among children. These results suggest that there is a need for better evidence of how the well-established laboratory efficacy of this home-based water treatment method translates into field effectiveness under various cultural settings and intervention intensities. Further global promotion of SODIS for general use

  5. Effectiveness of a smartphone app on improving immunization of children in rural Sichuan Province, China: a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Chen

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an EPI smartphone application (EPI app on improving vaccination coverage in rural Sichuan Province, China. Methods This matched-pair cluster randomized controlled study included 32 village doctors, matched in 16 pairs, and took place from 2013 to 2015. Village doctors in the intervention group used the EPI app and reminder text messages while village doctors in the control group used their usual procedures and text messages. The primary outcome was full vaccination coverage with all five vaccines (1 dose of BCG, 3 doses of hepatitis B, 3 doses of OPV, 3 doses of DPT and 1 dose of measles vaccine, and the secondary outcome was coverage with each dose of the five individual vaccines. We also conducted qualitative interviews with village doctors to understand perceptions on using the EPI app and how this changed their vaccination work. Results The full vaccination coverage increased statistically significant from baseline to end-line in both the intervention (67 % [95 % CI:58-75 %] to 84 % [95 % CI:76-90 %], P = 0.028 and control group (71 % [95 % CI:62-79 %] to 82 % [95 % CI:74-88 %], P = 0.014. The intervention group had higher increase in full vaccination coverage from baseline to end-line compared to the control group (17 % vs 10 %, but this was not statistically significant (P = 0.164. Village doctors found it more convenient to use the EPI app to manage child vaccination and also reported saving time by looking up information of caregivers and contacting caregivers for overdue vaccinations quicker. However, village doctors found it hard to manage children who migrated out of the counties. Conclusions This study showed that an app and text messages can be used by village doctors to improve full vaccination coverage, though no significant increase in vaccination coverage was found when assessing the effect of the app on its own. Village

  6. Effects of Prenatal Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation on Fetal Growth Factors: A Cluster-Randomized, Controlled Trial in Rural Bangladesh.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison D Gernand

    Full Text Available Prenatal multiple micronutrient (MM supplementation improves birth weight through increased fetal growth and gestational age, but whether maternal or fetal growth factors are involved is unclear. Our objective was to examine the effect of prenatal MM supplementation on intrauterine growth factors and the associations between growth factors and birth outcomes in a rural setting in Bangladesh. In a double-blind, cluster-randomized, controlled trial of MM vs. iron and folic acid (IFA supplementation, we measured placental growth hormone (PGH at 10 weeks and PGH and human placental lactogen (hPL at 32 weeks gestation in maternal plasma (n = 396 and insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1, and IGF binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1 in cord plasma (n = 325. Birth size and gestational age were also assessed. Early pregnancy mean (SD BMI was 19.5 (2.4 kg/m2 and birth weight was 2.68 (0.41 kg. There was no effect of MM on concentrations of maternal hPL or PGH, or cord insulin, IGF-1, or IGFBP-1. However, among pregnancies of female offspring, hPL concentration was higher by 1.1 mg/L in the third trimester (95% CI: 0.2, 2.0 mg/L; p = 0.09 for interaction; and among women with height <145 cm, insulin was higher by 59% (95% CI: 3, 115%; p = 0.05 for interaction in the MM vs. IFA group. Maternal hPL and cord blood insulin and IGF-1 were positively, and IGFBP-1 was negatively, associated with birth weight z score and other measures of birth size (all p<0.05. IGF-1 was inversely associated with gestational age (p<0.05, but other growth factors were not associated with gestational age or preterm birth. Prenatal MM supplementation had no overall impact on intrauterine growth factors. MM supplementation altered some growth factors differentially by maternal early pregnancy nutritional status and sex of the offspring, but this should be examined in other studies.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00860470.

  7. Introducing rapid diagnostic tests for malaria into drug shops in Uganda: design and implementation of a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbonye, Anthony K; Magnussen, Pascal; Chandler, Clare I R; Hansen, Kristian S; Lal, Sham; Cundill, Bonnie; Lynch, Caroline A; Clarke, Siân E

    2014-07-29

    An intervention was designed to introduce rapid diagnostics tests for malaria (mRDTs) into registered drug shops in Uganda to encourage rational and appropriate treatment of malaria with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). We conducted participatory training of drug shop vendors and implemented supporting interventions to orientate local communities (patients) and the public sector (health facility staff and district officials) to the behavioral changes in diagnosis, treatment and referral being introduced in drug shops. The intervention was designed to be evaluated through a cluster randomized trial. In this paper, we present detailed design, implementation and evaluation experiences in order to help inform future studies of a complex nature. Three preparatory studies (formative, baseline and willingness-to-pay) were conducted to explore perceptions on diagnosis and treatment of malaria at drug shops, and affordable prices for mRDTs and ACTs in order to inform the design of the intervention and implementation modalities. The intervention required careful design with the intention to be acceptable, sustainable and effective. Critical components of intervention were: community sensitization and creating awareness, training of drug shop vendors to diagnose malaria with mRDTs, treat and refer customers to formal health facilities, giving pre-referral rectal artesunate and improved record-keeping. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients receiving appropriately-targeted treatment with ACT, evaluated against microscopy on a research blood slide. Introducing mRDTs in drug shops may seem simple, but our experience of intervention design, conduct and evaluation showed this to be a complex process requiring multiple interventions and evaluation components drawing from a combination of epidemiological, social science and health economics methodologies. The trial was conducted in phases sequenced such that each benefited from the other. The main challenges

  8. Effectiveness of a smartphone app on improving immunization of children in rural Sichuan Province, China: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li; Du, Xiaozhen; Zhang, Lin; van Velthoven, Michelle Helena; Wu, Qiong; Yang, Ruikan; Cao, Ying; Wang, Wei; Xie, Lihui; Rao, Xiuqin; Zhang, Yanfeng; Koepsell, Jeanne Catherine

    2016-08-31

    The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an EPI smartphone application (EPI app) on improving vaccination coverage in rural Sichuan Province, China. This matched-pair cluster randomized controlled study included 32 village doctors, matched in 16 pairs, and took place from 2013 to 2015. Village doctors in the intervention group used the EPI app and reminder text messages while village doctors in the control group used their usual procedures and text messages. The primary outcome was full vaccination coverage with all five vaccines (1 dose of BCG, 3 doses of hepatitis B, 3 doses of OPV, 3 doses of DPT and 1 dose of measles vaccine), and the secondary outcome was coverage with each dose of the five individual vaccines. We also conducted qualitative interviews with village doctors to understand perceptions on using the EPI app and how this changed their vaccination work. The full vaccination coverage increased statistically significant from baseline to end-line in both the intervention (67 % [95 % CI:58-75 %] to 84 % [95 % CI:76-90 %], P = 0.028) and control group (71 % [95 % CI:62-79 %] to 82 % [95 % CI:74-88 %], P = 0.014). The intervention group had higher increase in full vaccination coverage from baseline to end-line compared to the control group (17 % vs 10 %), but this was not statistically significant (P = 0.164). Village doctors found it more convenient to use the EPI app to manage child vaccination and also reported saving time by looking up information of caregivers and contacting caregivers for overdue vaccinations quicker. However, village doctors found it hard to manage children who migrated out of the counties. This study showed that an app and text messages can be used by village doctors to improve full vaccination coverage, though no significant increase in vaccination coverage was found when assessing the effect of the app on its own. Village doctors using EPI app reported having improved their working

  9. Effectiveness of a cognitive behavioural workbook for changing beliefs about antipsychotic polypharmacy: analysis from a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Andrew; Sullivan, Sarah; Barley, Maddi; Moore, Laurence; Rogers, Paul; Sipos, Attila; Harrison, Glynn

    2010-06-01

    Educational workbooks have been used in psychiatry to influence patient but not clinician behaviour. Targeted education interventions to change prescribing practice in other areas of medicine have only looked at changes in prescribing and not attitudes or beliefs related to the prescribing. We aimed to examine whether clinicians' beliefs about a common prescribing issue in psychiatry (antipsychotic polypharmacy prescription) changed alongside behaviour as a result of a complex intervention. Medical and nursing staff were recruited from 19 general adult psychiatry units in the south-west of the UK as part of a cluster randomized controlled trial. A questionnaire was used to assess beliefs on the prescribing of antipsychotic polypharmacy as a secondary outcome before and after completion of a cognitive behavioural 'self-help' style workbook (one part of a complex intervention). A factor analysis suggested three dimensions of the questionnaire that corresponded to predetermined themes. The data were analysed using a random-effects regression model (adjusting for clustering) controlling for possible confounders. There was a significant change in beliefs on both of the factors: antipsychotic polypharmacy (coefficient = -0.89, P change in antipsychotic polypharmacy prescribing (odds ratio 0.43, 95% confidence intervals 0.21-0.90). The workbook appeared to change staff beliefs about antipsychotic polypharmacy, but achieving substantial changes in clinician behaviour may require further exploration of other factors important in complex prescribing issues.

  10. Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of knowledge transfer and behavior modification interventions in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients--the INDICA study: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramallo-Fariña, Yolanda; García-Pérez, Lidia; Castilla-Rodríguez, Iván; Perestelo-Pérez, Lilisbeth; Wägner, Ana María; de Pablos-Velasco, Pedro; Domínguez, Armando Carrillo; Cortés, Mauro Boronat; Vallejo-Torres, Laura; Ramírez, Marcos Estupiñán; Martín, Pablo Pedrianes; García-Puente, Ignacio; Salinero-Fort, Miguel Ángel; Serrano-Aguilar, Pedro Guillermo

    2015-04-09

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease whose health outcomes are related to patients and healthcare professionals' decision-making. The Diabetes Intervention study in the Canary Islands (INDICA study) aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of educational interventions supported by new technology decision tools for type 2 diabetes patients and primary care professionals in the Canary Islands. The INDICA study is an open, community-based, multicenter, clinical controlled trial with random allocation by clusters to one of three interventions or to usual care. The setting is primary care where physicians and nurses are invited to participate. Patients with diabetes diagnosis, 18-65 years of age, and regular users of mobile phone were randomly selected. Patients with severe comorbidities were excluded. The clusters are primary healthcare practices with enough professionals and available places to provide the intervention. The calculated sample size was 2,300 patients. Patients in group 1 are receiving an educational group program of eight sessions every 3 months led by trained nurses and monitored by means of logs and a web-based platform and tailored semi-automated SMS for continuous support. Primary care professionals in group 2 are receiving a short educational program to update their diabetes knowledge, which includes a decision support tool embedded into the electronic clinical record and a monthly feedback report of patients' results. Group 3 is receiving a combination of the interventions for patients and professionals. The primary endpoint is the change in HbA1c in 2 years. Secondary endpoints are cardiovascular risk factors, macrovascular and microvascular diabetes complications, quality of life, psychological outcomes, diabetes knowledge, and healthcare utilization. Data is being collected from interviews, questionnaires, clinical examinations, and records. Generalized linear mixed models with repeated time measurements will be used

  11. A cluster randomized controlled trial of a brief tobacco cessation intervention for low-income communities in India: study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Bidyut K; Shahab, Lion; Arora, Monika; Lorencatto, Fabiana; Reddy, K Srinath; West, Robert

    2014-03-01

    India has 275 million adult tobacco users and tobacco use is estimated to contribute to more than a million deaths in the country each year. There is an urgent need to develop and evaluate affordable, practicable and scalable interventions to promote cessation of tobacco use. Because tobacco use is so harmful, an increase of as little as 1 percentage point in long-term quit success rates can have an important public health impact. This protocol paper describes the rationale and methods of a large randomized controlled trial which aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief scalable smoking cessation intervention delivered by trained health professionals as an outreach programme in poor urban communities in India. This is a pragmatic, two-arm, community-based cluster randomized controlled trial focused on tobacco users in low-income communities. The treatment arm is a brief intervention comprising brief advice including training in craving control using simple yogic breathing exercises (BA-YBA) and the control arm is very brief advice (VBA). Of a total of 32 clusters, 16 will be allocated to the intervention arm and 16 to the control arm. Each cluster will have 31 participants, making a total of 992 participants. The primary outcome measure will follow the Russell Standard: self-report of sustained abstinence for at least 6 months following the intervention confirmed at the final follow-up by salivary cotinine. This trial will inform national and international policy on delivery of scalable and affordable brief outreach interventions to promote tobacco use cessation in low resource settings where tobacco users have limited access to physicians and medications. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  12. Effect on postpartum hemorrhage of prophylactic oxytocin (10 IU by injection by community health officers in Ghana: a community-based, cluster-randomized trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia K Stanton

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Oxytocin (10 IU is the drug of choice for prevention of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH. Its use has generally been restricted to medically trained staff in health facilities. We assessed the effectiveness, safety, and feasibility of PPH prevention using oxytocin injected by peripheral health care providers without midwifery skills at home births. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This community-based, cluster-randomized trial was conducted in four rural districts in Ghana. We randomly allocated 54 community health officers (stratified on district and catchment area distance to a health facility: ≥10 km versus <10 km to intervention (one injection of oxytocin [10 IU] one minute after birth and control (no provision of prophylactic oxytocin arms. Births attended by a community health officer constituted a cluster. Our primary outcome was PPH, using multiple definitions; (PPH-1 blood loss ≥500 mL; (PPH-2 PPH-1 plus women who received early treatment for PPH; and (PPH-3 PPH-2 plus any other women referred to hospital for postpartum bleeding. Unsafe practice is defined as oxytocin use before delivery of the baby. We enrolled 689 and 897 women, respectively, into oxytocin and control arms of the trial from April 2011 to November 2012. In oxytocin and control arms, respectively, PPH-1 rates were 2.6% versus 5.5% (RR: 0.49; 95% CI: 0.27-0.88; PPH-2 rates were 3.8% versus 10.8% (RR: 0.35; 95% CI: 0.18-0.63, and PPH-3 rates were similar to those of PPH-2. Compared to women in control clusters, those in the intervention clusters lost 45.1 mL (17.7-72.6 less blood. There were no cases of oxytocin use before delivery of the baby and no major adverse events requiring notification of the institutional review boards. Limitations include an unblinded trial and imbalanced numbers of participants, favoring controls. CONCLUSION: Maternal health care planners can consider adapting this model to extend the use of oxytocin into peripheral settings including, in some

  13. Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluation of a Gender Equity and Family Planning Intervention for Married Men and Couples in Rural India.

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    Anita Raj

    Full Text Available Despite ongoing recommendations to increase male engagement and gender-equity (GE counseling in family planning (FP services, few such programs have been implemented and rigorously evaluated. This study evaluates the impact of CHARM, a three-session GE+FP counseling intervention delivered by male health care providers to married men, alone (sessions 1&2 and with their wives (session 3 in India.A two-armed cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted with young married couples (N = 1081 couples recruited from 50 geographic clusters (25 clusters randomized to CHARM and a control condition, respectively in rural Maharashtra, India. Couples were surveyed on demographics, contraceptive behaviors, and intimate partner violence (IPV attitudes and behaviors at baseline and 9 &18-month follow-ups, with pregnancy testing at baseline and 18-month follow-up. Outcome effects on contraceptive use and incident pregnancy, and secondarily, on contraceptive communication and men's IPV attitudes and behaviors, were assessed using logistic generalized linear mixed models. Most men recruited from CHARM communities (91.3% received at least one CHARM intervention session; 52.5% received the couple's session with their wife. Findings document that women from the CHARM condition, relative to controls, were more likely to report contraceptive communication at 9-month follow-up (AOR = 1.77, p = 0.04 and modern contraceptive use at 9 and 18-month follow-ups (AORs = 1.57-1.58, p = 0.05, and they were less likely to report sexual IPV at 18-month follow-up (AOR = 0.48, p = 0.01. Men in the CHARM condition were less likely than those in the control clusters to report attitudes accepting of sexual IPV at 9-month (AOR = 0.64, p = 0.03 and 18-month (AOR = 0.51, p = 0.004 follow-up, and attitudes accepting of physical IPV at 18-month follow-up (AOR = 0.64, p = 0.02. No significant effect on pregnancy was seen.Findings demonstrate that men can be engaged in FP programming in

  14. Sensitivity analysis for missing dichotomous outcome data in multi-visit randomized clinical trial with randomization-based covariance adjustment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Siying; Koch, Gary G; Preisser, John S; Lam, Diana; Sanchez-Kam, Matilde

    2017-01-01

    Dichotomous endpoints in clinical trials have only two possible outcomes, either directly or via categorization of an ordinal or continuous observation. It is common to have missing data for one or more visits during a multi-visit study. This paper presents a closed form method for sensitivity analysis of a randomized multi-visit clinical trial that possibly has missing not at random (MNAR) dichotomous data. Counts of missing data are redistributed to the favorable and unfavorable outcomes mathematically to address possibly informative missing data. Adjusted proportion estimates and their closed form covariance matrix estimates are provided. Treatment comparisons over time are addressed with Mantel-Haenszel adjustment for a stratification factor and/or randomization-based adjustment for baseline covariables. The application of such sensitivity analyses is illustrated with an example. An appendix outlines an extension of the methodology to ordinal endpoints.

  15. Comparing the performance of cluster random sampling and integrated threshold mapping for targeting trachoma control, using computer simulation.

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    Jennifer L Smith

    Full Text Available Implementation of trachoma control strategies requires reliable district-level estimates of trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF, generally collected using the recommended gold-standard cluster randomized surveys (CRS. Integrated Threshold Mapping (ITM has been proposed as an integrated and cost-effective means of rapidly surveying trachoma in order to classify districts according to treatment thresholds. ITM differs from CRS in a number of important ways, including the use of a school-based sampling platform for children aged 1-9 and a different age distribution of participants. This study uses computerised sampling simulations to compare the performance of these survey designs and evaluate the impact of varying key parameters.Realistic pseudo gold standard data for 100 districts were generated that maintained the relative risk of disease between important sub-groups and incorporated empirical estimates of disease clustering at the household, village and district level. To simulate the different sampling approaches, 20 clusters were selected from each district, with individuals sampled according to the protocol for ITM and CRS. Results showed that ITM generally under-estimated the true prevalence of TF over a range of epidemiological settings and introduced more district misclassification according to treatment thresholds than did CRS. However, the extent of underestimation and resulting misclassification was found to be dependent on three main factors: (i the district prevalence of TF; (ii the relative risk of TF between enrolled and non-enrolled children within clusters; and (iii the enrollment rate in schools.Although in some contexts the two methodologies may be equivalent, ITM can introduce a bias-dependent shift as prevalence of TF increases, resulting in a greater risk of misclassification around treatment thresholds. In addition to strengthening the evidence base around choice of trachoma survey methodologies, this study illustrates

  16. Variability in research ethics review of cluster randomized trials: a scenario-based survey in three countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Cluster randomized trials (CRTs) present unique ethical challenges. In the absence of a uniform standard for their ethical design and conduct, problems such as variability in procedures and requirements by different research ethics committees will persist. We aimed to assess the need for ethics guidelines for CRTs among research ethics chairs internationally, investigate variability in procedures for research ethics review of CRTs within and among countries, and elicit research ethics chairs’ perspectives on specific ethical issues in CRTs, including the identification of research subjects. The proper identification of research subjects is a necessary requirement in the research ethics review process, to help ensure, on the one hand, that subjects are protected from harm and exploitation, and on the other, that reviews of CRTs are completed efficiently. Methods A web-based survey with closed- and open-ended questions was administered to research ethics chairs in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The survey presented three scenarios of CRTs involving cluster-level, professional-level, and individual-level interventions. For each scenario, a series of questions was posed with respect to the type of review required (full, expedited, or no review) and the identification of research subjects at cluster and individual levels. Results A total of 189 (35%) of 542 chairs responded. Overall, 144 (84%, 95% CI 79 to 90%) agreed or strongly agreed that there is a need for ethics guidelines for CRTs and 158 (92%, 95% CI 88 to 96%) agreed or strongly agreed that research ethics committees could be better informed about distinct ethical issues surrounding CRTs. There was considerable variability among research ethics chairs with respect to the type of review required, as well as the identification of research subjects. The cluster-cluster and professional-cluster scenarios produced the most disagreement. Conclusions Research ethics committees

  17. Cluster randomized trial in the general practice research database: 2. Secondary prevention after first stroke (eCRT study: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

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    Dregan Alex

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The purpose of this research is to develop and evaluate methods for conducting pragmatic cluster randomized trials in a primary care electronic database. The proposal describes one application, in a less frequent chronic condition of public health importance, secondary prevention of stroke. A related protocol in antibiotic prescribing was reported previously. Methods/Design The study aims to implement a cluster randomized trial (CRT using the electronic patient records of the General Practice Research Database (GPRD as a sampling frame and data source. The specific objective of the trial is to evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-delivered intervention at enhancing the delivery of stroke secondary prevention in primary care. GPRD family practices will be allocated to the intervention or usual care. The intervention promotes the use of electronic prompts to support adherence with the recommendations of the UK Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party and NICE guidelines for the secondary prevention of stroke in primary care. Primary outcome measure will be the difference in systolic blood pressure between intervention and control trial arms at 12-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes will be differences in serum cholesterol, prescribing of antihypertensive drugs, statins, and antiplatelet therapy. The intervention will continue for 12 months. Information on the utilization of the decision-support tools will also be analyzed. Discussion The CRT will investigate the effectiveness of using a computer-delivered intervention to reduce the risk of stroke recurrence following a first stroke event. The study will provide methodological guidance on the implementation of CRTs in electronic databases in primary care. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN35701810

  18. Effects of improved sanitation on diarrheal reduction for children under five in Idiofa, DR Congo: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Seungman; Lee, JaeEun; Seo, DongSik; Park, Byoung Mann; Mansiangi, Paul; Bernard, Kabore; Mulakub-Yazho, Guy Jerome Nkay; Famasulu, Honore Minka

    2017-09-19

    The lack of safe water and sanitation contributes to the rampancy of diarrhea in many developing countries. This study describes the design of a cluster-randomized trial in Idiofa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, seeking evidence of the impact of improved sanitation on diarrhea for children under four. Of the 276 quartiers, 18 quartiers were randomly allocated to the intervention or control arm. Seven hundred and-twenty households were sampled and the youngest under-four child in each household was registered for this study. The primary endpoint of the study is diarrheal incidence, prevalence and duration in children under five. Material subsidies will be provided only to the households who complete pit digging plus superstructure and roof construction, regardless of their income level. This study employs a Sanitation Calendar so that the mother of each household can record the diarrheal episodes of her under-four child on a daily basis. The diary enables examination of the effect of the sanitation intervention on diarrhea duration and also resolves the limitation of the small number of clusters in the trial. In addition, the project will be monitored through the 'Sanitation Map', on which all households in the study area, including both the control and intervention arms, are registered. To avoid information bias or courtesy bias, photos will be taken of the latrine during the household visit, and a supervisor will determine well-equipped latrine uptake based on the photos. This reduces the possibility of recall bias and under- or over-estimation of diarrhea, which was the main limitation of previous studies. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the School of Public Health, Kinshasa University (ESP/CE/040/15; April 13, 2015) and registered as an International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial (ISRCTN: 10,419,317) on March 13, 2015.

  19. The Impact of Hotspot-Targeted Interventions on Malaria Transmission in Rachuonyo South District in the Western Kenyan Highlands: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, John; Knight, Philip; Stone, William; Osoti, Victor; Makori, Euniah; Owaga, Chrispin; Odongo, Wycliffe; China, Pauline; Shagari, Shehu; Doumbo, Ogobara K.; Sauerwein, Robert W.; Kariuki, Simon; Drakeley, Chris; Stevenson, Jennifer; Cox, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Background Malaria transmission is highly heterogeneous, generating malaria hotspots that can fuel malaria transmission across a wider area. Targeting hotspots may represent an efficacious strategy for reducing malaria transmission. We determined the impact of interventions targeted to serologically defined malaria hotspots on malaria transmission both inside hotspots and in surrounding communities. Methods and Findings Twenty-seven serologically defined malaria hotspots were detected in a survey conducted from 24 June to 31 July 2011 that included 17,503 individuals from 3,213 compounds in a 100-km2 area in Rachuonyo South District, Kenya. In a cluster-randomized trial from 22 March to 15 April 2012, we randomly allocated five clusters to hotspot-targeted interventions with larviciding, distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying, and focal mass drug administration (2,082 individuals in 432 compounds); five control clusters received malaria control following Kenyan national policy (2,468 individuals in 512 compounds). Our primary outcome measure was parasite prevalence in evaluation zones up to 500 m outside hotspots, determined by nested PCR (nPCR) at baseline and 8 wk (16 June–6 July 2012) and 16 wk (21 August–10 September 2012) post-intervention by technicians blinded to the intervention arm. Secondary outcome measures were parasite prevalence inside hotpots, parasite prevalence in the evaluation zone as a function of distance from the hotspot boundary, Anopheles mosquito density, mosquito breeding site productivity, malaria incidence by passive case detection, and the safety and acceptability of the interventions. Intervention coverage exceeded 87% for all interventions. Hotspot-targeted interventions did not result in a change in nPCR parasite prevalence outside hotspot boundaries (p ≥ 0.187). We observed an average reduction in nPCR parasite prevalence of 10.2% (95% CI −1.3 to 21.7%) inside hotspots 8 wk post

  20. The Study of HIV and Antenatal Care Integration in Pregnancy in Kenya: Design, Methods, and Baseline Results of a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turan, Janet M.; Steinfeld, Rachel L.; Onono, Maricianah; Bukusi, Elizabeth A.; Woods, Meghan; Shade, Starley B.; Washington, Sierra; Marima, Reson; Penner, Jeremy; Ackers, Marta L.; Mbori-Ngacha, Dorothy; Cohen, Craig R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Despite strong evidence for the effectiveness of anti-retroviral therapy for improving the health of women living with HIV and for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), HIV persists as a major maternal and child health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. In most settings antenatal care (ANC) services and HIV treatment services are offered in separate clinics. Integrating these services may result in better uptake of services, reduction of the time to treatment initiation, better adherence, and reduction of stigma. Methodology/Principal Findings A prospective cluster randomized controlled trial design was used to evaluate the effects of integrating HIV treatment into ANC clinics at government health facilities in rural Kenya. Twelve facilities were randomized to provide either fully integrated services (ANC, PMTCT, and HIV treatment services all delivered in the ANC clinic) or non-integrated services (ANC clinics provided ANC and basic PMTCT services and referred clients to a separate HIV clinic for HIV treatment). During June 2009– March 2011, 1,172 HIV-positive pregnant women were enrolled in the study. The main study outcomes are rates of maternal enrollment in HIV care and treatment, infant HIV testing uptake, and HIV-free infant survival. Baseline results revealed that the intervention and control cohorts were similar with respect to socio-demographics, male partner HIV testing, sero-discordance of the couple, obstetric history, baseline CD4 count, and WHO Stage. Challenges faced while conducting this trial at low-resource rural health facilities included frequent staff turnover, stock-outs of essential supplies, transportation challenges, and changes in national guidelines. Conclusions/Significance This is the first randomized trial of ANC and HIV service integration to be conducted in rural Africa. It is expected that the study will provide critical evidence regarding the implementation and effectiveness of this service delivery

  1. The study of HIV and antenatal care integration in pregnancy in Kenya: design, methods, and baseline results of a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet M Turan

    Full Text Available Despite strong evidence for the effectiveness of anti-retroviral therapy for improving the health of women living with HIV and for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT, HIV persists as a major maternal and child health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. In most settings antenatal care (ANC services and HIV treatment services are offered in separate clinics. Integrating these services may result in better uptake of services, reduction of the time to treatment initiation, better adherence, and reduction of stigma.A prospective cluster randomized controlled trial design was used to evaluate the effects of integrating HIV treatment into ANC clinics at government health facilities in rural Kenya. Twelve facilities were randomized to provide either fully integrated services (ANC, PMTCT, and HIV treatment services all delivered in the ANC clinic or non-integrated services (ANC clinics provided ANC and basic PMTCT services and referred clients to a separate HIV clinic for HIV treatment. During June 2009- March 2011, 1,172 HIV-positive pregnant women were enrolled in the study. The main study outcomes are rates of maternal enrollment in HIV care and treatment, infant HIV testing uptake, and HIV-free infant survival. Baseline results revealed that the intervention and control cohorts were similar with respect to socio-demographics, male partner HIV testing, sero-discordance of the couple, obstetric history, baseline CD4 count, and WHO Stage. Challenges faced while conducting this trial at low-resource rural health facilities included frequent staff turnover, stock-outs of essential supplies, transportation challenges, and changes in national guidelines.This is the first randomized trial of ANC and HIV service integration to be conducted in rural Africa. It is expected that the study will provide critical evidence regarding the implementation and effectiveness of this service delivery strategy, with important implications for programs striving

  2. Immediate versus delayed loading of strategic mini dental implants for the stabilization of partial removable dental prostheses: a patient cluster randomized, parallel-group 3-year trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundt, Torsten; Al Jaghsi, Ahmad; Schwahn, Bernd; Hilgert, Janina; Lucas, Christian; Biffar, Reiner; Schwahn, Christian; Heinemann, Friedhelm

    2016-07-30

    Acceptable short-term survival rates (>90 %) of mini-implants (diameter implants as strategic abutments for a better retention of partial removable dental prosthesis (PRDP) are not available. The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that immediately loaded mini-implants show more bone loss and less success than strategic mini-implants with delayed loading. In this four-center (one university hospital, three dental practices in Germany), parallel-group, controlled clinical trial, which is cluster randomized on patient level, a total of 80 partially edentulous patients with unfavourable number and distribution of remaining abutment teeth in at least one jaw will receive supplementary min-implants to stabilize their PRDP. The mini-implant are either immediately loaded after implant placement (test group) or delayed after four months (control group). Follow-up of the patients will be performed for 36 months. The primary outcome is the radiographic bone level changes at implants. The secondary outcome is the implant success as a composite variable. Tertiary outcomes include clinical, subjective (quality of life, satisfaction, chewing ability) and dental or technical complications. Strategic implants under an existing PRDP are only documented for standard-diameter implants. Mini-implants could be a minimal invasive and low cost solution for this treatment modality. The trial is registered at Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien (German register of clinical trials) under DRKS-ID: DRKS00007589 ( www.germanctr.de ) on January 13(th), 2015.

  3. School intervention to improve mental health of students in Santiago, Chile: a randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya, Ricardo; Fritsch, Rosemarie; Spears, Melissa; Rojas, Graciela; Martinez, Vania; Barroilhet, Sergio; Vöhringer, Paul; Gunnell, David; Stallard, Paul; Guajardo, Viviana; Gaete, Jorge; Noble, Sian; Montgomery, Alan A

    2013-11-01

    Depression can have devastating effects unless prevented or treated early and effectively. Schools offer an excellent opportunity to intervene with adolescents presenting emotional problems. There are very few universal school-based depression interventions conducted in low- and middle-income countries. To assess the effectiveness of a school-based, universal psychological intervention to reduce depressive symptoms among adolescents from low-income families. A 2-arm, parallel, cluster, randomized clinical trial was conducted in secondary schools in deprived socioeconomic areas of Santiago, Chile. Almost all students registered in the selected schools consented to take part in the study. A total of 2512 secondary school students from 22 schools and 66 classes participated. Students in the intervention arm attended 11 one-hour weekly and 2 booster classroom sessions of an intervention based on cognitive-behavioral models. The intervention was delivered by trained nonspecialists. Schools in the control arm received the standard school curriculum. Scores on the self-administered Beck Depression Inventory-II at 3 months (primary) and 12 months (secondary) after completing the intervention. There were 1291 participants in the control arm and 1221 in the intervention arm. Primary outcome data were available for 82.1% of the participants. There was no evidence of any clinically important difference in mean depression scores between the groups (adjusted difference in mean, -0.19; 95% CI, -1.22 to 0.84) or for any of the other outcomes 3 months after completion of the intervention. No significant differences were found in any of the outcomes at 12 months. A well-designed and implemented school-based intervention did not reduce depressive symptoms among socioeconomically deprived adolescents in Santiago, Chile. There is growing evidence that universal school interventions may not be sufficiently effective to reduce or prevent depressive symptoms. isrctn.org Identifier: ISRCTN

  4. Rational and design of a stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial evaluating quality improvement initiative for reducing cardiovascular events among patients with acute coronary syndromes in resource-constrained hospitals in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shenshen; Wu, Yangfeng; Du, Xin; Li, Xian; Patel, Anushka; Peterson, Eric D; Turnbull, Fiona; Lo, Serigne; Billot, Laurent; Laba, Tracey; Gao, Runlin

    2015-03-01

    Acute coronary syndromes (ACSs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality, yet effective ACS treatments are frequently underused in clinical practice. Randomized trials including the CPACS-2 study suggest that quality improvement initiatives can increase the use of effective treatments, but whether such programs can impact hard clinical outcomes has never been demonstrated in a well-powered randomized controlled trial. The CPACS-3 study is a stepped-wedge cluster-randomized trial conducted in 104 remote level 2 hospitals without PCI facilities in China. All hospitalized ACS patients will be recruited consecutively over a 30-month period to an anticipated total study population of more than 25,000 patients. After a 6-month baseline period, hospitals will be randomized to 1 of 4 groups, and a 6-component quality improvement intervention will be implemented sequentially in each group every 6months. These components include the following: establishment of a quality improvement team, implementation of a clinical pathway, training of physicians and nurses, hospital performance audit and feedback, online technical support, and patient education. All patients will be followed up for 6months postdischarge. The primary outcome will be the incidence of in-hospital major adverse cardiovascular events comprising all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction or reinfarction, and nonfatal stroke. The CPACS-3 study will be the first large randomized trial with sufficient power to assess the effects of a multifaceted quality of care improvement initiative on hard clinical outcomes, in patients with ACS. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Assessment of an enhanced program for depression management in primary care: a cluster randomized controlled trial. The INDI project (Interventions for Depression Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hernández Josep M

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most depressed patients are attended at primary care. However, there are significant shortcomings in the diagnosis, management and outcomes of these patients. The aim of this study is to determine whether the implementation of a structured programme for managing depression will provide better health outcomes than usual management. Methods/Design Design: A cluster-randomized controlled trial involving two groups, one of which is the control group consisting of patients who are treated for depression in the usual way and the other is the intervention group consisting of patients on a structured programme for treating depression. Setting: 20 primary care centres in the province of Tarragona (Spain Sample: 400 patients over 18 years of age who have experienced an episode of major depression (DSM-IV and who need to initiate antidepressant treatment Intervention: A multi-component programme with clinical, educational and organisational procedures that includes training for the health care provider and evidence-based clinical guidelines. It also includes primary care nurses working as care-managers who provide educational and emotional support for the patients and who are responsible for active and systematic clinical monitoring. The programme aims to improve the primary care/specialized level interface. Measurements: The patients will be monitored by telephone interviews. The interviewer will not know which group the patient belongs to (blind trial. These interviews will be given at 0, 3, 6 and 12 months. Main variables: Severity of the depressive symptoms, response rate and remission rate. Analysis: Outcomes will be analyzed on an intent-to-treat basis and the unit of analysis will be the individual patient. This analysis will take into account the effect of study design on potential lack of independence between observations within the same cluster. Discussion The effectiveness of caring for depression in primary care can be

  6. A cluster-randomized trial of a college health center-based alcohol and sexual violence intervention (GIFTSS): Design, rationale, and baseline sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abebe, Kaleab Z; Jones, Kelley A; Rofey, Dana; McCauley, Heather L; Clark, Duncan B; Dick, Rebecca; Gmelin, Theresa; Talis, Janine; Anderson, Jocelyn; Chugani, Carla; Algarroba, Gabriela; Antonio, Ashley; Bee, Courtney; Edwards, Clare; Lethihet, Nadia; Macak, Justin; Paley, Joshua; Torres, Irving; Van Dusen, Courtney; Miller, Elizabeth

    2018-02-01

    Sexual violence (SV) on college campuses is common, especially alcohol-related SV. This is a 2-arm cluster randomized controlled trial to test a brief intervention to reduce risk for alcohol-related sexual violence (SV) among students receiving care from college health centers (CHCs). Intervention CHC staff are trained to deliver universal SV education to all students seeking care, to facilitate patient and provider comfort in discussing SV and related abusive experiences (including the role of alcohol). Control sites provide participants with information about drinking responsibly. Across 28 participating campuses (12 randomized to intervention and 16 to control), 2292 students seeking care at CHCs complete surveys prior to their appointment (baseline), immediately after (exit), 4months later (T2) and one year later (T3). The primary outcome is change in recognition of SV and sexual risk. Among those reporting SV exposure at baseline, changes in SV victimization, disclosure, and use of SV services are additional outcomes. Intervention effects will be assessed using generalized linear mixed models that account for clustering of repeated observations both within CHCs and within students. Slightly more than half of the participating colleges have undergraduate enrollment of ≥3000 students; two-thirds are public and almost half are urban. Among participants there were relatively more Asian (10 v 1%) and Black/African American (13 v 7%) and fewer White (58 v 74%) participants in the intervention compared to control. This study will offer the first formal assessment for SV prevention in the CHC setting. Clinical Trials #: NCT02355470. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Using Getting To Outcomes to facilitate the use of an evidence-based practice in VA homeless programs: a cluster-randomized trial of an implementation support strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinman, Matthew; McCarthy, Sharon; Hannah, Gordon; Byrne, Thomas Hugh; Smelson, David A

    2017-03-09

    Incorporating evidence-based integrated treatment for dual disorders into typical care settings has been challenging, especially among those serving Veterans who are homeless. This paper presents an evaluation of an effort to incorporate an evidence-based, dual disorder treatment called Maintaining Independence and Sobriety Through Systems Integration, Outreach, and Networking-Veterans Edition (MISSION-Vet) into case management teams serving Veterans who are homeless, using an implementation strategy called Getting To Outcomes (GTO). This Hybrid Type III, cluster-randomized controlled trial assessed the impact of GTO over and above MISSION-Vet Implementation as Usual (IU). Both conditions received standard MISSION-Vet training and manuals. The GTO group received an implementation manual, training, technical assistance, and data feedback. The study occurred in teams at three large VA Medical Centers over 2 years. Within each team, existing sub-teams (case managers and Veterans they serve) were the clusters randomly assigned. The trial assessed MISSION-Vet services delivered and collected via administrative data and implementation barriers and facilitators, via semi-structured interview. No case managers in the IU group initiated MISSION-Vet while 68% in the GTO group did. Seven percent of Veterans with case managers in the GTO group received at least one MISSION-Vet session. Most case managers appreciated the MISSION-Vet materials and felt the GTO planning meetings supported using MISSION-Vet. Case manager interviews also showed that MISSION-Vet could be confusing; there was little involvement from leadership after their initial agreement to participate; the data feedback system had a number of difficulties; and case managers did not have the resources to implement all aspects of MISSION-Vet. This project shows that GTO-like support can help launch new practices but that multiple implementation facilitators are needed for successful execution of a complex evidence

  8. Hand washing with soap and water together with behavioural recommendations prevents infections in common work environment: an open cluster-randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savolainen-Kopra, Carita; Haapakoski, Jaason; Peltola, Piia A; Ziegler, Thedi; Korpela, Terttu; Anttila, Pirjo; Amiryousefi, Ali; Huovinen, Pentti; Huvinen, Markku; Noronen, Heikki; Riikkala, Pia; Roivainen, Merja; Ruutu, Petri; Teirilä, Juha; Vartiainen, Erkki; Hovi, Tapani

    2012-01-16

    Hand hygiene is considered as an important means of infection control. We explored whether guided hand hygiene together with transmission-limiting behaviour reduces infection episodes and lost days of work in a common work environment in an open cluster-randomized 3-arm intervention trial. A total of 21 clusters (683 persons) were randomized to implement hand hygiene with soap and water (257 persons), with alcohol-based hand rub (202 persons), or to serve as a control (224 persons). Participants in both intervention arms also received standardized instructions on how to limit the transmission of infections. The intervention period (16 months) included the emergence of the 2009 influenza pandemic and the subsequent national hand hygiene campaign influencing also the control arm. In the total follow-up period there was a 6.7% reduction of infection episodes in the soap-and water arm (p = 0.04). Before the onset of the anti-pandemic campaign, a statistically significant (p = 0.002) difference in the mean occurrence of infection episodes was observed between the control (6.0 per year) and the soap-and-water arm (5.0 per year) but not between the control and the alcohol-rub arm (5.6 per year). Neither intervention had a decreasing effect on absence from work. We conclude that intensified hand hygiene using water and soap together with behavioural recommendations can reduce the occurrence of self-reported acute illnesses in common work environment. Surprisingly, the occurrence of reported sick leaves also increased in the soap-and water-arm. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00981877 The Finnish Work Environment Fund and the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

  9. Reduction of self-perceived discomforts in critically ill patients in French intensive care units: study protocol for a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalfon, Pierre; Mimoz, Olivier; Loundou, Anderson; Geantot, Marie-Agnès; Revel, Nathalie; Villard, Isabelle; Amour, Julien; Azoulay, Elie; Garrouste-Orgeas, Maïté; Martin, Claude; Sharshar, Tarek; Baumstarck, Karine; Auquier, Pascal

    2016-02-16

    It is now well documented that critically ill patients are exposed to stressful conditions and experience discomforts from multiple sources. Improved identification of the discomforts of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) may have implications for managing their care, including consideration of ethical issues, and may assist clinicians in choosing the most appropriate interventions. The primary objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a multicomponent program of discomfort reduction in critically ill patients. The secondary objectives were to assess the sustainability of the impact of the program and the potential seasonality effect. We conducted a multicenter, cluster-randomized, controlled, single (patient)-blind study involving 34 French adult ICUs. The experimental intervention was a 6-month period during which the multicomponent program was implemented in the ICU and included the following steps: identification of discomforts, immediate feedback to the healthcare team, and implementation of targeted interventions. The control intervention was a 6-month period during which any program was implemented. The primary endpoint was the monthly overall score of self-reported discomfort from the French questionnaire on discomforts in ICU patients (IPREA). The secondary endpoints were the scores of the discomfort items of IPREA. The sample size was 660 individuals to obtain 80% power to detect a 25% difference in the overall discomfort score of IPREA between the two groups (design effect: 2.9). The results of this cluster-randomized controlled study are expected to confirm that a multicomponent program of discomfort reduction may be a new strategy in the management of care for critically ill patients. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02442934, registered 11 May 2015.

  10. Effect of a brief outreach educational intervention on the translation of acute poisoning treatment guidelines to practice in rural Sri Lankan hospitals: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senarathna, Lalith; Buckley, Nick A; Dibley, Michael J; Kelly, Patrick J; Jayamanna, Shaluka F; Gawarammana, Indika B; Dawson, Andrew H

    2013-01-01

    In developing countries, including Sri Lanka, a high proportion of acute poisoning and other medical emergencies are initially treated in rural peripheral hospitals. Patients are then usually transferred to referral hospitals for further treatment. Guidelines are often used to promote better patient care in these emergencies. We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial (ISRCTN73983810) which aimed to assess the effect of a brief educational outreach ('academic detailing') intervention to promote the utilization of treatment guidelines for acute poisoning. This cluster RCT was conducted in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. All peripheral hospitals in the province were randomized to either intervention or control. All hospitals received a copy of the guidelines. The intervention hospitals received a brief out-reach academic detailing workshop which explained poisoning treatment guidelines and guideline promotional items designed to be used in daily care. Data were collected on all patients admitted due to poisoning for 12 months post-intervention in all study hospitals. Information collected included type of poison exposure, initial investigations, treatments and hospital outcome. Patients transferred from peripheral hospitals to referral hospitals had their clinical outcomes recorded. There were 23 intervention and 23 control hospitals. There were no significant differences in the patient characteristics, such as age, gender and the poisons ingested. The intervention hospitals showed a significant improvement in administration of activated charcoal [OR 2.95 (95% CI 1.28-6.80)]. There was no difference between hospitals in use of other decontamination methods. This study shows that an educational intervention consisting of brief out-reach academic detailing was effective in changing treatment behavior in rural Sri Lankan hospitals. The intervention was only effective for treatments with direct clinician involvement, such as administering activated

  11. Hand washing with soap and water together with behavioural recommendations prevents infections in common work environment: an open cluster-randomized trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Savolainen-Kopra Carita

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hand hygiene is considered as an important means of infection control. We explored whether guided hand hygiene together with transmission-limiting behaviour reduces infection episodes and lost days of work in a common work environment in an open cluster-randomized 3-arm intervention trial. Methods A total of 21 clusters (683 persons were randomized to implement hand hygiene with soap and water (257 persons, with alcohol-based hand rub (202 persons, or to serve as a control (224 persons. Participants in both intervention arms also received standardized instructions on how to limit the transmission of infections. The intervention period (16 months included the emergence of the 2009 influenza pandemic and the subsequent national hand hygiene campaign influencing also the control arm. Results In the total follow-up period there was a 6.7% reduction of infection episodes in the soap-and water arm (p = 0.04. Before the onset of the anti-pandemic campaign, a statistically significant (p = 0.002 difference in the mean occurrence of infection episodes was observed between the control (6.0 per year and the soap-and-water arm (5.0 per year but not between the control and the alcohol-rub arm (5.6 per year. Neither intervention had a decreasing effect on absence from work. Conclusions We conclude that intensified hand hygiene using water and soap together with behavioural recommendations can reduce the occurrence of self-reported acute illnesses in common work environment. Surprisingly, the occurrence of reported sick leaves also increased in the soap-and water-arm. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00981877 Source of funding The Finnish Work Environment Fund and the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

  12. Analyzing indirect effects in cluster randomized trials. The effect of estimation method, number of groups and group sizes on accuracy and power.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joop eHox

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Cluster randomized trials assess the effect of an intervention that is carried out at the group or cluster level. Ajzen’s theory of planned behaviour is often used to model the effect of the intervention as an indirect effect mediated in turn by attitude, norms and behavioural intention. Structural equation modelling (SEM is the technique of choice to estimate indirect effects and their significance. However, this is a large sample technique, and its application in a cluster randomized trial assumes a relatively large number of clusters. In practice, the number of clusters in these studies tends to be relatively small, e.g. much less than fifty. This study uses simulation methods to find the lowest number of clusters needed when multilevel SEM is used to estimate the indirect effect. Maximum likelihood estimation is compared to Bayesian analysis, with the central quality criteria being accuracy of the point estimate and the confidence interval. We also investigate the power of the test for the indirect effect. We conclude that Bayes estimation works well with much smaller cluster level sample sizes such as 20 cases than maximum likelihood estimation; although the bias is larger the coverage is much better. When only 5 to 10 clusters are available per treatment condition even with Bayesian estimation problems occur.

  13. When Things Are Not as They Appear: Assessing the Adequacy of Cluster Randomization When Outcome Events Are Rare at Baseline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica Dinaj-Koci

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study randomly assigned 15 Bahamian elementary schools to one of three intervention conditions. To assess the adequacy of cluster randomization, we examined two concerns identified by the local research team: inequality of gender distribution and environmental risk among groups. Baseline significant differences in risk and protective behaviors were minimal. There were significantly more males in the intervention group. Males had higher rates of risk behavior at all assessments. Poor school performance was also higher among the intervention condition and was significantly associated with increased rates of many but not all risk behaviors. Prior to adjusting for gender and school performance, several risk behaviors appeared to be higher after intervention among intervention youth. Adjusting for gender and school performance eradicated the group differences in risk behavior rates. Results demonstrate the importance of adequate randomization where outcomes of interest are rare events at baseline or differ by gender and there is an unequal gender distribution and the importance of the local research team’s knowledge of potential inequalities in environmental risk (i.e., school performance. Not considering such individual differences could impact the integrity of trial outcomes.

  14. A cluster randomized controlled trial of the non-pneumatic anti ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In the early NASG group eligible women were given the standard management for OH and had the NASG applied at the clinic level before transport to RH. In the control group, eligible women were given the standard management for OH at the clinic level, transferred to the RH, and received the NASG at the RH. All women ...

  15. Preventing knee injuries in adolescent female football players – design of a cluster randomized controlled trial [NCT00894595

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waldén Markus

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Knee injuries in football are common regardless of age, gender or playing level, but adolescent females seem to have the highest risk. The consequences after severe knee injury, for example anterior cruciate ligament (ACL injury, are well-known, but less is known about knee injury prevention. We have designed a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT to evaluate the effect of a warm-up program aimed at preventing acute knee injury in adolescent female football. Methods In this cluster randomized trial 516 teams (309 clusters in eight regional football districts in Sweden with female players aged 13–17 years were randomized into an intervention group (260 teams or a control group (256 teams. The teams in the intervention group were instructed to do a structured warm-up program at two training sessions per week throughout the 2009 competitive season (April to October and those in the control group were informed to train and play as usual. Sixty-eight sports physical therapists are assigned to the clubs to assist both groups in data collection and to examine the players' acute knee injuries during the study period. Three different forms are used in the trial: (1 baseline player data form collected at the start of the trial, (2 computer-based registration form collected every month, on which one of the coaches/team leaders documents individual player exposure, and (3 injury report form on which the study therapists report acute knee injuries resulting in time loss from training or match play. The primary outcome is the incidence of ACL injury and the secondary outcomes are the incidence of any acute knee injury (except contusion and incidence of severe knee injury (defined as injury resulting in absence of more than 4 weeks. Outcome measures are assessed after the end of the 2009 season. Discussion Prevention of knee injury is beneficial for players, clubs, insurance companies, and society. If the warm-up program is proven to

  16. Enhancing Executive Functions Among Dutch Elementary School Children Using the Train Your Mind Program: Protocol for a Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bervoets, Joachim; Jonkman, Lisa M; Mulkens, Sandra; de Vries, Hein; Kok, Gerjo

    2018-06-07

    Executive functions are higher cognitive control functions, which are essential to physical and psychological well-being, academic performance, and healthy social relationships. Executive functions can be trained, albeit without broad transfer, to this date. Broad transfer entails the translation of improved cognitive functions to daily life (behaviors). The intervention Train your Mind was designed to train executive functions among elementary school children aged 9 to 11 years, and obtain broad transfer in terms of enhanced physical activity, healthy eating, and socioemotional regulation. This paper aims to describe the cluster randomized trial to test the effectiveness of the Train your Mind intervention. Train your Mind was integrated into the existing school curriculum for 8 months (25 weeks excluding holidays). The effectiveness of the intervention was tested in a cluster randomized trial comprising 13 schools, 34 groups (school classes), and 800 children, using a battery of 6 computer tasks at pre- and postmeasurement. Each of the 3 core executive functions was measured by 2 tasks (Flanker and Go/No-Go; N-Back and Running Span; Attention Switching Task and Dots/Triangles). Moreover, we administered questionnaires that measure emotion-regulation, cognitive errors, physical activity, dietary habits, and the psycho-social determinants of diet and physical activity. Body mass index was also measured. Multilevel analyses will account for clustering at the school and group levels, and randomization took place at the school level. Results are currently being analyzed. The main purpose of this study is to test Train your Mind's effectiveness in enhancing executive functions. Second, we investigate whether increased executive functions lead to improved physical activity and healthy eating. If found effective, executive function training could easily be integrated into school curricula everywhere, and as such, boost health, academic performance, and emotion

  17. Preventing knee injuries in adolescent female football players - design of a cluster randomized controlled trial [NCT00894595].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hägglund, Martin; Waldén, Markus; Atroshi, Isam

    2009-06-23

    Knee injuries in football are common regardless of age, gender or playing level, but adolescent females seem to have the highest risk. The consequences after severe knee injury, for example anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, are well-known, but less is known about knee injury prevention. We have designed a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effect of a warm-up program aimed at preventing acute knee injury in adolescent female football. In this cluster randomized trial 516 teams (309 clusters) in eight regional football districts in Sweden with female players aged 13-17 years were randomized into an intervention group (260 teams) or a control group (256 teams). The teams in the intervention group were instructed to do a structured warm-up program at two training sessions per week throughout the 2009 competitive season (April to October) and those in the control group were informed to train and play as usual. Sixty-eight sports physical therapists are assigned to the clubs to assist both groups in data collection and to examine the players' acute knee injuries during the study period. Three different forms are used in the trial: (1) baseline player data form collected at the start of the trial, (2) computer-based registration form collected every month, on which one of the coaches/team leaders documents individual player exposure, and (3) injury report form on which the study therapists report acute knee injuries resulting in time loss from training or match play. The primary outcome is the incidence of ACL injury and the secondary outcomes are the incidence of any acute knee injury (except contusion) and incidence of severe knee injury (defined as injury resulting in absence of more than 4 weeks). Outcome measures are assessed after the end of the 2009 season. Prevention of knee injury is beneficial for players, clubs, insurance companies, and society. If the warm-up program is proven to be effective in reducing the incidence of knee

  18. Design of a cluster-randomized trial of electronic health record-based tools to address overweight and obesity in primary care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, Heather J; Wee, Christina C; DeVito, Katerina; Orav, E John; Frolkis, Joseph P; Williams, Deborah H; Wright, Adam; Bates, David W

    2015-08-01

    Primary care providers often fail to identify patients who are overweight or obese or discuss weight management with them. Electronic health record-based tools may help providers with the assessment and management of overweight and obesity. We describe the design of a trial to examine the effectiveness of electronic health record-based tools for the assessment and management of overweight and obesity among adult primary care patients, as well as the challenges we encountered. We developed several new features within the electronic health record used by primary care practices affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. These features included (1) reminders to measure height and weight, (2) an alert asking providers to add overweight or obesity to the problem list, (3) reminders with tailored management recommendations, and (4) a Weight Management screen. We then conducted a pragmatic, cluster-randomized controlled trial in 12 primary care practices. We randomized 23 clinical teams ("clinics") within the practices to the intervention group (n = 11) or the control group (n = 12). The new features were activated only for clinics in the intervention group. The intervention was implemented in two phases: the height and weight reminders went live on 15 December 2011 (Phase 1), and all of the other features went live on 11 June 2012 (Phase 2). Study enrollment went from December 2011 through December 2012, and follow-up ended in December 2013. The primary outcomes were 6-month and 12-month weight change among adult patients with body mass index ≥25 who had a visit at one of the primary care clinics during Phase 2. Secondary outcome measures included the proportion of patients with a recorded body mass index in the electronic health record, the proportion of patients with body mass index ≥25 who had a diagnosis of overweight or obesity on the electronic health record problem list, and the proportion of patients with body mass index ≥25 who had

  19. The Aged Residential Care Healthcare Utilization Study (ARCHUS): a multidisciplinary, cluster randomized controlled trial designed to reduce acute avoidable hospitalizations from long-term care facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Martin J; Boyd, Michal; Broad, Joanna B; Kerse, Ngaire; Lumley, Thomas; Whitehead, Noeline; Foster, Susan

    2015-01-01

    To assess effect of a complex, multidisciplinary intervention aimed at reducing avoidable acute hospitalization of residents of residential aged care (RAC) facilities. Cluster randomized controlled trial. RAC facilities with higher than expected hospitalizations in Auckland, New Zealand, were recruited and randomized to intervention or control. A total of 1998 residents of 18 intervention facilities and 18 control facilities. A facility-based complex intervention of 9 months' duration. The intervention comprised gerontology nurse specialist (GNS)-led staff education, facility bench-marking, GNS resident review, and multidisciplinary (geriatrician, primary-care physician, pharmacist, GNS, and facility nurse) discussion of residents selected using standard criteria. Primary end point was avoidable hospitalizations. Secondary end points were all acute admissions, mortality, and acute bed-days. Follow-up was for a total of 14 months. The intervention did not affect main study end points: number of acute avoidable hospital admissions (RR 1.07; 95% CI 0.85-1.36; P = .59) or mortality (RR 1.11; 95% CI 0.76-1.61; P = .62). This multidisciplinary intervention, packaging selected case review, and staff education had no overall impact on acute hospital admissions or mortality. This may have considerable implications for resourcing in the acute and RAC sectors in the face of population aging. Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12611000187943). Copyright © 2015 AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. A comparison of three clustering methods for finding subgroups in MRI, SMS or clinical data: SPSS TwoStep Cluster analysis, Latent Gold and SNOB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Peter; Jensen, Rikke K; Kongsted, Alice

    2014-10-02

    There are various methodological approaches to identifying clinically important subgroups and one method is to identify clusters of characteristics that differentiate people in cross-sectional and/or longitudinal data using Cluster Analysis (CA) or Latent Class Analysis (LCA). There is a scarcity of head-to-head comparisons that can inform the choice of which clustering method might be suitable for particular clinical datasets and research questions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to perform a head-to-head comparison of three commonly available methods (SPSS TwoStep CA, Latent Gold LCA and SNOB LCA). The performance of these three methods was compared: (i) quantitatively using the number of subgroups detected, the classification probability of individuals into subgroups, the reproducibility of results, and (ii) qualitatively using subjective judgments about each program's ease of use and interpretability of the presentation of results.We analysed five real datasets of varying complexity in a secondary analysis of data from other research projects. Three datasets contained only MRI findings (n = 2,060 to 20,810 vertebral disc levels), one dataset contained only pain intensity data collected for 52 weeks by text (SMS) messaging (n = 1,121 people), and the last dataset contained a range of clinical variables measured in low back pain patients (n = 543 people). Four artificial datasets (n = 1,000 each) containing subgroups of varying complexity were also analysed testing the ability of these clustering methods to detect subgroups and correctly classify individuals when subgroup membership was known. The results from the real clinical datasets indicated that the number of subgroups detected varied, the certainty of classifying individuals into those subgroups varied, the findings had perfect reproducibility, some programs were easier to use and the interpretability of the presentation of their findings also varied. The results from the artificial datasets

  1. Randomized clinical trial of antibiotic therapy for uncomplicated appendicitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, H C; Kim, M J; Lee, B H

    2017-12-01

    Uncomplicated appendicitis may resolve spontaneously or require treatment with antibiotics or appendicectomy. The aim of this randomized trial was to compare the outcome of a non-antibiotic management strategy with that of antibiotic therapy in uncomplicated appendicitis. Patients presenting to a university teaching hospital with CT-verified uncomplicated simple appendicitis (appendiceal diameter no larger than 11 mm and without any signs of perforation) were randomized to management with a no-antibiotic regimen with supportive care (intravenous fluids, analgesia and antipyretics as necessary) or a 4-day course of antibiotics with supportive care. The primary endpoint was rate of total treatment failure, defined as initial treatment failure within 1 month and recurrence of appendicitis during the follow-up period. Some 245 patients were randomized within the trial, and followed up for a median of 19 months. The duration of hospital stay was shorter (mean 3·1 versus 3·7 days; P antibiotics. There was no difference in total treatment failure rate between the groups: 29 of 124 (23·4 per cent) in the no-antibiotic group and 25 of 121 (20·7 per cent) in the antibiotic group (P = 0·609). Eighteen patients (9 in each group) had initial treatment failure, 15 of whom underwent appendicectomy and three received additional antibiotics. Thirty-six patients (20 in the no-antibiotic group, 16 in the antibiotic group) experienced recurrence, of whom 30 underwent appendicectomy and six received further antibiotics. Treatment failure rates in patients presenting with CT-confirmed uncomplicated appendicitis appeared similar among those receiving supportive care with either a no-antibiotic regimen or a 4-day course of antibiotics. Registration number: KCT0000124 ( http://cris.nih.go.kr). © 2017 BJS Society Ltd Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Citation bias of hepato-biliary randomized clinical trials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaergard, Lise L; Gluud, Christian

    2002-01-01

    -1996. From each trial, we extracted the statistical significance of the primary study outcome (positive or negative), the disease area, and methodological quality (randomization and double blinding). The number of citations during two calendar years after publication was obtained from Science Citation Index....... There was a significant positive association between a statistically significant study outcome and the citation frequency (beta, 0.55, 95% confidence interval, 0.39-0.72). The disease area and adequate generation of the allocation sequence were also significant predictors of the citation frequency. We concluded...

  3. Objective and Subjective Measures of Simultaneous vs Sequential Bilateral Cochlear Implants in Adults A Randomized Clinical Trial : A Randomized Clinical Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraaijenga, Véronique J C; Ramakers, Geerte G J; Smulders, Yvette E; van Zon, Alice; Stegeman, Inge; Smit, Adriana L; Stokroos, Robert J; Hendrice, Nadia; Free, Rolien H; Maat, Bert; Frijns, Johan H M; Briaire, Jeroen J; Mylanus, E A M; Huinck, Wendy J; Van Zanten, Gijsbert A; Grolman, Wilko

    IMPORTANCE To date, no randomized clinical trial on the comparison between simultaneous and sequential bilateral cochlear implants (BiCIs) has been performed. OBJECTIVE To investigate the hearing capabilities and the self-reported benefits of simultaneous BiCIs compared with those of sequential

  4. Randomized clinical trial of symptom control after stapled anopexy or diathermy excision for haemorrhoid prolapse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyström, P-O; Qvist, N; Raahave, D

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: : This multicentre randomized clinical trial studied how symptoms improved after either stapled anopexy or diathermy excision of haemorrhoids. METHODS: : The study involved 18 hospitals in Sweden, Denmark and the UK. Some 207 patients were randomized to either anopexy or Milligan-Morg...

  5. Results of a multicenter randomized controlled trial of the clinical effectiveness of schema therapy for personality disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bamelis, L.L.M.; Evers, S.M.A.A.; Spinhoven, P.; Arntz, A.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: The authors compared the effectiveness of 50 sessions of schema therapy with clarification-oriented psychotherapy and with treatment as usual among patients with cluster C, paranoid, histrionic, or narcissistic personality disorder. Method: A multicenter randomized controlled trial, with

  6. Involving patients in setting priorities for healthcare improvement: a cluster randomized trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boivin, A.; Lehoux, P.; Lacombe, R.; Burgers, J.; Grol, R.P.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Patients are increasingly seen as active partners in healthcare. While patient involvement in individual clinical decisions has been extensively studied, no trial has assessed how patients can effectively be involved in collective healthcare decisions affecting the population. The goal

  7. Discontinuing Inappropriate Medication Use in Nursing Home Residents : A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wouters, Hans; Scheper, Jessica; Koning, Hedi; Brouwer, Chris; Twisk, Jos W.; van der Meer, Helene; Boersma, Froukje; Zuidema, Sytse U.; Taxis, Katja

    2017-01-01

    Background: Inappropriate prescribing is a well-known clinical problem in nursing home residents, but few interventions have focused on reducing inappropriate medication use. Objective: To examine successful discontinuation of inappropriate medication use and to improve prescribing in nursing home

  8. Cluster-cluster clustering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnes, J.; Dekel, A.; Efstathiou, G.; Frenk, C.S.; Yale Univ., New Haven, CT; California Univ., Santa Barbara; Cambridge Univ., England; Sussex Univ., Brighton, England)

    1985-01-01

    The cluster correlation function xi sub c(r) is compared with the particle correlation function, xi(r) in cosmological N-body simulations with a wide range of initial conditions. The experiments include scale-free initial conditions, pancake models with a coherence length in the initial density field, and hybrid models. Three N-body techniques and two cluster-finding algorithms are used. In scale-free models with white noise initial conditions, xi sub c and xi are essentially identical. In scale-free models with more power on large scales, it is found that the amplitude of xi sub c increases with cluster richness; in this case the clusters give a biased estimate of the particle correlations. In the pancake and hybrid models (with n = 0 or 1), xi sub c is steeper than xi, but the cluster correlation length exceeds that of the points by less than a factor of 2, independent of cluster richness. Thus the high amplitude of xi sub c found in studies of rich clusters of galaxies is inconsistent with white noise and pancake models and may indicate a primordial fluctuation spectrum with substantial power on large scales. 30 references

  9. Cardioprotective effects of cocoa: clinical evidence from randomized clinical intervention trials in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arranz, Sara; Valderas-Martinez, Palmira; Chiva-Blanch, Gemma; Casas, Rosa; Urpi-Sarda, Mireia; Lamuela-Raventos, Rosa M; Estruch, Ramon

    2013-06-01

    Cocoa is an important source of polyphenols, which comprise 12-18% of its total dry weight. The major phenolic compounds in cocoa and cocoa products are mainly flavonoids such as epicatechin, catechin, and proanthocyanidins. These products contain higher amounts of flavonoids than other polyphenol-rich foods. However, the bioavailability of these compounds depends on other food constituents and their interactions with the food matrix. Many epidemiological and clinical intervention trials have concluded that the ingestion of flavonoids reduces the risk factors of developing cardiovascular disease. This review summarizes the new findings regarding the effects of cocoa and chocolate consumption on cardiovascular risk factors. The mechanisms involved in the cardioprotective effects of cocoa flavonoids include reduction of oxidative stress, inhibition of low-density lipoproteins oxidation and platelet aggregation, vasodilatation of blood vessels, inhibition of the adherence of monocytes to vascular endothelium, promotion of fibrinolysis, and immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activity. Scientific evidence supports a cause and effect relationship between consumption of cocoa flavonoids and the maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation, which contributes to normal blood flow. However, larger randomized trials are required to definitively establish the impact of cocoa and cocoa products consumption on hard cardiovascular outcomes. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Extended phenotype and clinical subgroups in unilateral Meniere disease: A cross-sectional study with cluster analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frejo, L; Martin-Sanz, E; Teggi, R; Trinidad, G; Soto-Varela, A; Santos-Perez, S; Manrique, R; Perez, N; Aran, I; Almeida-Branco, M S; Batuecas-Caletrio, A; Fraile, J; Espinosa-Sanchez, J M; Perez-Guillen, V; Perez-Garrigues, H; Oliva-Dominguez, M; Aleman, O; Benitez, J; Perez, P; Lopez-Escamez, J A

    2017-12-01

    To define clinical subgroups by cluster analysis in patients with unilateral Meniere disease (MD) and to compare them with the clinical subgroups found in bilateral MD. A cross-sectional study with a two-step cluster analysis. A tertiary referral multicenter study. Nine hundred and eighty-eight adult patients with unilateral MD. best predictors to define clinical subgroups with potential different aetiologies. We established five clusters in unilateral MD. Group 1 is the most frequently found, includes 53% of patients, and it is defined as the sporadic, classic MD without migraine and without autoimmune disorder (AD). Group 2 is found in 8% of patients, and it is defined by hearing loss, which antedates the vertigo episodes by months or years (delayed MD), without migraine or AD in most of cases. Group 3 involves 13% of patients, and it is considered familial MD, while group 4, which includes 15% of patients, is linked to the presence of migraine in all cases. Group 5 is found in 11% of patients and is defined by a comorbid AD. We found significant differences in the distribution of AD in clusters 3, 4 and 5 between patients with uni- and bilateral MD. Cluster analysis defines clinical subgroups in MD, and it extends the phenotype beyond audiovestibular symptoms. This classification will help to improve the phenotyping in MD and facilitate the selection of patients for randomised clinical trials. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. A cluster randomized control field trial of the ABRACADABRA web-based literacy intervention: Replication and extension of basic findings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noella Angele Piquette

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The present paper reports a cluster randomized control trial evaluation of teaching using ABRACADABRA (ABRA, an evidence-based and web-based literacy intervention (http://abralite.concordia.ca with 107 kindergarten and 96 grade 1 children in 24 classes (12 intervention 12 control classes from all 12 elementary schools in one school district in Canada. Children in the intervention condition received 10-12 hours of whole class instruction using ABRA between pre- and post-test. Hierarchical linear modeling of post-test results showed significant gains in letter-sound knowledge for intervention classrooms over control classrooms. In addition, medium effect sizes were evident for three of five outcome measures favoring the intervention: letter-sound knowledge (d = +.66, phonological blending (d = +.52, and word reading (d = +.52, over effect sizes for regular teaching. It is concluded that regular teaching with ABRA technology adds significantly to literacy in the early elementary years.

  12. Cluster Analysis of the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS): Symptom Dimensions and Clinical Correlates in an Outpatient Youth Sample

    OpenAIRE

    Kircanski, Katharina; Woods, Douglas W.; Chang, Susanna W.; Ricketts, Emily J.; Piacentini, John C.

    2010-01-01

    Tic disorders are heterogeneous, with symptoms varying widely both within and across patients. Exploration of symptom clusters may aid in the identification of symptom dimensions of empirical and treatment import. This article presents the results of two studies investigating tic symptom clusters using a sample of 99 youth (M age = 10.7, 81% male, 77% Caucasian) diagnosed with a primary tic disorder (Tourette?s disorder or chronic tic disorder), across two university-based outpatient clinics ...

  13. Community interventions to reduce child mortality in Dhanusha, Nepal: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Costello Anthony

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neonatal mortality remains high in rural Nepal. Previous work suggests that local women's groups can effect significant improvement through community mobilisation. The possibility of identification and management of newborn infections by community-based workers has also arisen. Methods/Design The objective of this trial is to evaluate the effects on newborn health of two community-based interventions involving Female Community Health Volunteers. MIRA Dhanusha community groups: a participatory intervention with women's groups. MIRA Dhanusha sepsis management: training of community volunteers in the recognition and management of neonatal sepsis. The study design is a cluster randomized controlled trial involving 60 village development committee clusters allocated 1:1 to two interventions in a factorial design. MIRA Dhanusha community groups: Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs are supported in convening monthly women's groups. Nine groups per cluster (270 in total work through two action research cycles in which they (i identify local issues around maternity, newborn health and nutrition, (ii prioritise key problems, (iii develop strategies to address them, (iv implement the strategies, and (v evaluate their success. Cycle 1 focuses on maternal and newborn health and cycle 2 on nutrition in pregnancy and infancy and associated postpartum care practices. MIRA Dhanusha sepsis management: FCHVs are trained to care for vulnerable newborn infants. They (i identify local births, (ii identify low birth weight infants, (iii identify possible newborn infection, (iv manage the process of treatment with oral antibiotics and referral to a health facility to receive parenteral gentamicin, and (v follow up infants and support families. Primary outcome: neonatal mortality rates. Secondary outcomes: MIRA Dhanusha community group: stillbirth, infant and under-two mortality rates, care practices and health care seeking behaviour, maternal

  14. A cross-sectional, randomized cluster sample survey of household vulnerability to extreme heat among slum dwellers in ahmedabad, india.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Kathy V; Azhar, Gulrez S; Nair, Rajesh; Knowlton, Kim; Jaiswal, Anjali; Sheffield, Perry; Mavalankar, Dileep; Hess, Jeremy

    2013-06-18

    Extreme heat is a significant public health concern in India; extreme heat hazards are projected to increase in frequency and severity with climate change. Few of the factors driving population heat vulnerability are documented, though poverty is a presumed risk factor. To facilitate public health preparedness, an assessment of factors affecting vulnerability among slum dwellers was conducted in summer 2011 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Indicators of heat exposure, susceptibility to heat illness, and adaptive capacity, all of which feed into heat vulnerability, was assessed through a cross-sectional household survey using randomized multistage cluster sampling. Associations between heat-related morbidity and vulnerability factors were identified using multivariate logistic regression with generalized estimating equations to account for clustering effects. Age, preexisting medical conditions, work location, and access to health information and resources were associated with self-reported heat illness. Several of these variables were unique to this study. As sociodemographics, occupational heat exposure, and access to resources were shown to increase vulnerability, future interventions (e.g., health education) might target specific populations among Ahmedabad urban slum dwellers to reduce vulnerability to extreme heat. Surveillance and evaluations of future interventions may also be worthwhile.

  15. Correlation of electron transport and photocatalysis of nanocrystalline clusters studied by Monte-Carlo continuity random walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Baoshun; Li, Ziqiang; Zhao, Xiujian

    2015-02-21

    In this research, Monte-Carlo Continuity Random Walking (MC-RW) model was used to study the relation between electron transport and photocatalysis of nano-crystalline (nc) clusters. The effects of defect energy disorder, spatial disorder of material structure, electron density, and interfacial transfer/recombination on the electron transport and the photocatalysis were studied. Photocatalytic activity is defined as 1/τ from a statistical viewpoint with τ being the electron average lifetime. Based on the MC-RW simulation, a clear physical and chemical "picture" was given for the photocatalytic kinetic analysis of nc-clusters. It is shown that the increase of defect energy disorder and material spatial structural disorder, such as the decrease of defect trap number, the increase of crystallinity, the increase of particle size, and the increase of inter-particle connection, can enhance photocatalytic activity through increasing electron transport ability. The increase of electron density increases the electron Fermi level, which decreases the activation energy for electron de-trapping from traps to extending states, and correspondingly increases electron transport ability and photocatalytic activity. Reducing recombination of electrons and holes can increase electron transport through the increase of electron density and then increases the photocatalytic activity. In addition to the electron transport, the increase of probability for electrons to undergo photocatalysis can increase photocatalytic activity through the increase of the electron interfacial transfer speed.

  16. Impact on Prehospital Delay of a Stroke Preparedness Campaign: A SW-RCT (Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denti, Licia; Caminiti, Caterina; Scoditti, Umberto; Zini, Andrea; Malferrari, Giovanni; Zedde, Maria Luisa; Guidetti, Donata; Baratti, Mario; Vaghi, Luca; Montanari, Enrico; Marcomini, Barbara; Riva, Silvia; Iezzi, Elisa; Castellini, Paola; Olivato, Silvia; Barbi, Filippo; Perticaroli, Eva; Monaco, Daniela; Iafelice, Ilaria; Bigliardi, Guido; Vandelli, Laura; Guareschi, Angelica; Artoni, Andrea; Zanferrari, Carla; Schulz, Peter J

    2017-12-01

    Public campaigns to increase stroke preparedness have been tested in different contexts, showing contradictory results. We evaluated the effectiveness of a stroke campaign, designed specifically for the Italian population in reducing prehospital delay. According to an SW-RCT (Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial) design, the campaign was launched in 4 provinces in the northern part of the region Emilia Romagna at 3-month intervals in randomized sequence. The units of analysis were the patients admitted to hospital, with stroke and transient ischemic attack, over a time period of 15 months, beginning 3 months before the intervention was launched in the first province to allow for baseline data collection. The proportion of early arrivals (within 2 hours of symptom onset) was the primary outcome. Thrombolysis rate and some behavioral end points were the secondary outcomes. Data were analyzed using a fixed-effect model, adjusting for cluster and time trends. We enrolled 1622 patients, 912 exposed and 710 nonexposed to the campaign. The proportion of early access was nonsignificantly lower in exposed patients (354 [38.8%] versus 315 [44.4%]; adjusted odds ratio, 0.81; 95% confidence interval, 0.60-1.08; P =0.15). As for secondary end points, an increase was found for stroke recognition, which approximated but did not reach statistical significance ( P =0.07). Our campaign was not effective in reducing prehospital delay. Even if some limitations of the intervention, mainly in terms of duration, are taken into account, our study demonstrates that new communication strategies should be tested before large-scale implementation. URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01881152. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  17. Clinical study of the clusters of diffuse lamellar keratitis after laser corneal refractive surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing-Hong Lin

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available AIM: To investigate the potential causes and management of the clusters of diffuse lamellar keratitis(DLKafter laser corneal refractive surgery. METHODS: The study enrolled 98 eyes(53 patientscomplicated with DLK after receiving laser in situ keratomileusis(LASIK, FS-LASIK or small-incision lenticule extraction(SMILEin our center from February 10th,2016 to February 22th,2016. They were given clinical classification treatments according to corneal layer inflammatory extent and then followed up after 1, 3, 5, 7, 10d and 1mo. RESULTS: The clusters of DLK occurred 5 times in the study period. The incidence and degree of DLK significantly decreased after changed the sterilization, surgical equipments, temperature and humidity of the operating room. There were 80 eyes(82%had stage 1 DLK, 11 eyes(11%had stage 2, 4 eyes(4%had stage 3 and 3 eyes(3%had stage 4. The incidence of DLK after FS-LASIK was 40%(79 eyes in 42 patients, that after LASIK assistant by Hastome keratome was 45%(10 eyes in 5 patients, that after SMILE was 20%(9 eyes in 6 patients. After intensive treatment, as glucocorticoid treatment and flap lifting flushing, all cases recovered within 1mo. CONCLUSION: The outbreak of DLK may be associated with the disposable item, flushing liquor, temperature and humidity of the operating room. Early diagnosis, prevention and treatment are the key of decreasing the incidence of DLK.

  18. Irritable bowel syndrome and upper dyspepsia among the elderly: a study of symptom clusters in a random 70 year old population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kay, L; Jørgensen, Torben; Schultz-Larsen, K

    1996-01-01

    . Heartburn/acid regurgitation did not show a consistent association to any other symptoms and may be considered as a cluster of it own. Pain characteristics traditionally related to upper dyspepsia did not specifically relate to any cluster. It is concluded that, in this 70-year-old population abdominal......With the aim to assess the clustering of abdominal symptoms in a random population, data from a cohort study of a 70 year old Danish population were analysed. The cohort comprised 1,119 subjects of which 72% participated in a primary study and 91% of the survivors in a similar study five years...

  19. Therapeutic alliance in a randomized clinical trial for bulimia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accurso, Erin C; Fitzsimmons-Craft, Ellen E; Ciao, Anna; Cao, Li; Crosby, Ross D; Smith, Tracey L; Klein, Marjorie H; Mitchell, James E; Crow, Scott J; Wonderlich, Stephen A; Peterson, Carol B

    2015-06-01

    This study examined the temporal relation between therapeutic alliance and outcome in two treatments for bulimia nervosa (BN). Eighty adults with BN symptoms were randomized to 21 sessions of integrative cognitive-affective therapy (ICAT) or enhanced cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT-E). Bulimic symptoms (i.e., frequency of binge eating and purging) were assessed at each session and posttreatment. Therapeutic alliance (Working Alliance Inventory) was assessed at Sessions 2, 8, 14, and posttreatment. Repeated-measures analyses using linear mixed models with random intercepts were conducted to determine differences in alliance growth by treatment and patient characteristics. Mixed-effects models examined the relation between alliance and symptom improvement. Overall, patients in both treatments reported strong therapeutic alliances. Regardless of treatment, greater therapeutic alliance between (but not within) subjects predicted greater reductions in bulimic behavior; reductions in bulimic behavior also predicted improved alliance. Patients with higher depression, anxiety, or emotion dysregulation had a stronger therapeutic alliance in CBT-E than ICAT, while those with more intimacy problems had greater improvement in therapeutic alliance in ICAT compared to CBT-E. Therapeutic alliance has a unique impact on outcome, independent of the impact of symptom improvement on alliance. Within- and between-subjects effects revealed that changes in alliance over time did not predict symptom improvement, but rather that individuals who had a stronger alliance overall had better bulimic symptom outcomes. These findings indicate that therapeutic alliance is an important predictor of outcome in the treatment of BN. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Balneotherapy in fibromyalgia: a single blind randomized controlled clinical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozkurt, Seçil; Dönmez, Arif; Zeki Karagülle, M; Uzunoğlu, Emel; Turan, Mustafa; Erdoğan, Nergis

    2012-07-01

    We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of balneotherapy in fibromyalgia management. Fifty women with fibromyalgia under pharmacological treatment were randomly assigned to either the balneotherapy (25) or the control (25) group. Four patients from the balneotherapy group and one patient from the control group left the study after randomization. The patients in the balneotherapy group (21) had 2 thermomineral water baths daily for 2 weeks in Tuzla Spa Center. The patients in the control group (24) continued to have their medical treatment and routine daily life. An investigator who was blinded to the study arms assessed the patients. All patients were assessed four times; at the beginning of the study, at the end of the 2nd week, the 1st month, and the 3rd month after balneotherapy. Outcome measures of the study were pain intensity, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), patient's global assessment, investigator's global assessment, SF-36 scores, and tender point count. Balneotherapy was found to be superior at the end of the cure period in terms of pain intensity, FIQ, Beck Depression Inventory, patient's global assessment, investigator's global assessment scores, and tender point count as compared to the control group. The superiority of balneotherapy lasted up to the end of the 3rd month, except for the Beck Depression Inventory score and the investigator's global assessment score. Significant improvements were observed in PF, GH, and MH subscales of SF-36 during the study period in the balneotherapy group; however, no such improvement was observed in the control group. Balneotherapy was superior only in VT subscale at the end of therapy and at the end of the third month after the therapy as compared to the controls. It was concluded that balneotherapy provides beneficial effects in patients with fibromyalgia.

  1. Screening and treatment of maternal genitourinary tract infections in early pregnancy to prevent preterm birth in rural Sylhet, Bangladesh: a cluster randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Anne C C; Quaiyum, Mohammad A; Mullany, Luke C; Mitra, Dipak K; Labrique, Alain; Ahmed, Parvez; Uddin, Jamal; Rafiqullah, Iftekhar; DasGupta, Sushil; Mahmud, Arif; Koumans, Emilia H; Christian, Parul; Saha, Samir; Baqui, Abdullah H

    2015-12-07

    Approximately half of preterm births are attributable to maternal infections, which are commonly undetected and untreated in low-income settings. Our primary aim is to determine the impact of early pregnancy screening and treatment of maternal genitourinary tract infections on the incidence of preterm live birth in Sylhet, Bangladesh. We will also assess the effect on other adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth (stillbirth and live birth), late miscarriage, maternal morbidity, and early onset neonatal sepsis. We are conducting a cluster randomized controlled trial that will enroll 10,000 pregnant women in Sylhet district in rural northeastern Bangladesh. Twenty-four clusters, each with ~4000 population (120 pregnant women/year) and served by a community health worker (CHW), are randomized to: 1) the control arm, which provides routine antenatal and postnatal home-based care, or 2) the intervention arm, which includes routine antenatal and postnatal home-based care plus screening and treatment of pregnant women between 13 and 19 weeks of gestation for abnormal vaginal flora (AVF) and urinary tract infection (UTI). CHWs conduct monthly pregnancy surveillance, make 2 antenatal and 4 postnatal home visits for all enrolled pregnant women and newborns, and refer mothers or newborns with symptoms of serious illness to the government sub-district hospital. In the intervention clusters, CHWs perform home-based screening of AVF and UTI. Self-collected vaginal swabs are plated on slides, which are Gram stained and Nugent scored. Women with AVF (Nugent score ≥4) are treated with oral clindamycin, rescreened and retreated, if needed, after 3 weeks. Urine culture is performed and UTI treated with nitrofurantoin. Repeat urine culture is performed after 1 week for test of cure. Gestational age is determined by maternal report of last menstrual period at study enrollment using prospectively completed study calendars, and in a subset by early (pregnancy outcomes

  2. Effectiveness of a live oral human rotavirus vaccine after programmatic introduction in Bangladesh: A cluster-randomized trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K Zaman

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Rotavirus vaccines are now globally recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO, but in early 2009 WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization reviewed available data and concluded that there was no evidence for the efficacy or effectiveness of a two-dose schedule of the human rotavirus vaccine (HRV; Rotarix given early at 6 and 10 wk of age. Additionally, the effectiveness of programmatic rotavirus vaccination, including possible indirect effects, has not been assessed in low-resource populations in Asia.In Bangladesh, we cluster-randomized (1:1 142 villages of the Matlab Health and Demographic Surveillance System to include two doses of HRV with the standard infant vaccines at 6 and 10 wk of age or to provide standard infant vaccines without HRV. The study was initiated November 1, 2008, and surveillance was conducted concurrently at Matlab Diarrhoea Hospital and two community treatment centers to identify children less than 2 y of age presenting with acute rotavirus diarrhea (ARD through March 31, 2011. Laboratory confirmation was made by enzyme immunoassay detection of rotavirus antigen in stool specimens. Overall effectiveness of the HRV vaccination program (primary objective was measured by comparing the incidence rate of ARD among all children age-eligible for vaccination in villages where HRV was introduced to that among such children in villages where HRV was not introduced. Total effectiveness among vaccinees and indirect effectiveness were also evaluated. In all, 6,527 infants were age-eligible for vaccination in 71 HRV villages, and 5,791 in 71 non-HRV villages. In HRV villages, 4,808 (73.7% infants received at least one dose of HRV. The incidence rate of ARD was 4.10 cases per 100 person-years in non-HRV villages compared to 2.8 per 100 person-years in HRV villages, indicating an overall effectiveness of 29.0% (95% CI, 11.3% to 43.1%. The total effectiveness of HRV against ARD among vaccinees was 41.4% (95% CI

  3. Effectiveness of a live oral human rotavirus vaccine after programmatic introduction in Bangladesh: A cluster-randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaman, K; Sack, David A; Neuzil, Kathleen M; Yunus, Mohammad; Moulton, Lawrence H; Sugimoto, Jonathan D; Fleming, Jessica A; Hossain, Ilias; Arifeen, Shams El; Azim, Tasnim; Rahman, Mustafizur; Lewis, Kristen D C; Feller, Andrea J; Qadri, Firdausi; Halloran, M Elizabeth; Cravioto, Alejandro; Victor, John C

    2017-04-01

    Rotavirus vaccines are now globally recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), but in early 2009 WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization reviewed available data and concluded that there was no evidence for the efficacy or effectiveness of a two-dose schedule of the human rotavirus vaccine (HRV; Rotarix) given early at 6 and 10 wk of age. Additionally, the effectiveness of programmatic rotavirus vaccination, including possible indirect effects, has not been assessed in low-resource populations in Asia. In Bangladesh, we cluster-randomized (1:1) 142 villages of the Matlab Health and Demographic Surveillance System to include two doses of HRV with the standard infant vaccines at 6 and 10 wk of age or to provide standard infant vaccines without HRV. The study was initiated November 1, 2008, and surveillance was conducted concurrently at Matlab Diarrhoea Hospital and two community treatment centers to identify children less than 2 y of age presenting with acute rotavirus diarrhea (ARD) through March 31, 2011. Laboratory confirmation was made by enzyme immunoassay detection of rotavirus antigen in stool specimens. Overall effectiveness of the HRV vaccination program (primary objective) was measured by comparing the incidence rate of ARD among all children age-eligible for vaccination in villages where HRV was introduced to that among such children in villages where HRV was not introduced. Total effectiveness among vaccinees and indirect effectiveness were also evaluated. In all, 6,527 infants were age-eligible for vaccination in 71 HRV villages, and 5,791 in 71 non-HRV villages. In HRV villages, 4,808 (73.7%) infants received at least one dose of HRV. The incidence rate of ARD was 4.10 cases per 100 person-years in non-HRV villages compared to 2.8 per 100 person-years in HRV villages, indicating an overall effectiveness of 29.0% (95% CI, 11.3% to 43.1%). The total effectiveness of HRV against ARD among vaccinees was 41.4% (95% CI, 23.2% to 55

  4. The Quality Initiative in Rectal Cancer (QIRC trial: study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial in surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thabane Lehana

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Two unfortunate outcomes for patients treated surgically for rectal cancer are placement of a permanent colostomy and local tumor recurrence. Total mesorectal excision is a new technique for rectal cancer surgery that can lead to improved patient outcomes. We describe a cluster randomized controlled trial that is testing if the above patient outcomes can be improved through a knowledge translation strategy called the Quality Initiative in Rectal Cancer (QIRC strategy. The strategy is designed to optimize the use of total mesorectal excision techniques. Methods and Design Hospitals were randomized to the QIRC strategy (experimental group versus normal practice environment (control group. Participating hospitals, and the respective surgeon group operating in them, are from Ontario, Canada and have an annual procedure volume for major rectal cancer resections of 15 or greater. Patients were eligible if they underwent major rectal surgery for a diagnosis of primary rectal cancer. The surgeon-directed QIRC interventions included a workshop, use of opinion leaders, operative demonstrations, a post-operative questionnaire, and, audit and feedback. For an operative demonstration participating surgeons invited a study team surgeon to assist them with a case of rectal cancer surgery. The intent was to demonstrate total mesorectal excision techniques. Control arm surgeons received no intervention. Sample size calculations were two-sided, considered the clustering of data at the hospital level, and were driven by requirements for the outcome local recurrence. To detect an improvement in local recurrence from 20% to 8% with confidence we required 16 hospitals and 672 patients – 8 hospitals and 336 patients in each arm. Outcomes data are collected via chart review for at least 30 months after surgery. Analyses will use an intention-to-treat principle and will consider the clustering of data. Data collection will be complete by the end of

  5. Cluster analysis of obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder: clinical and genetic correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lochner, Christine; Hemmings, Sian M J; Kinnear, Craig J; Niehaus, Dana J H; Nel, Daniel G; Corfield, Valerie A; Moolman-Smook, Johanna C; Seedat, Soraya; Stein, Dan J

    2005-01-01

    Comorbidity of certain obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders (OCSDs; such as Tourette's disorder) in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may serve to define important OCD subtypes characterized by differing phenomenology and neurobiological mechanisms. Comorbidity of the putative OCSDs in OCD has, however, not often been systematically investigated. The Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition , Axis I Disorders-Patient Version as well as a Structured Clinical Interview for Putative OCSDs (SCID-OCSD) were administered to 210 adult patients with OCD (N = 210, 102 men and 108 women; mean age, 35.7 +/- 13.3). A subset of Caucasian subjects (with OCD, n = 171; control subjects, n = 168), including subjects from the genetically homogeneous Afrikaner population (with OCD, n = 77; control subjects, n = 144), was genotyped for polymorphisms in genes involved in monoamine function. Because the items of the SCID-OCSD are binary (present/absent), a cluster analysis (Ward's method) using the items of SCID-OCSD was conducted. The association of identified clusters with demographic variables (age, gender), clinical variables (age of onset, obsessive-compulsive symptom severity and dimensions, level of insight, temperament/character, treatment response), and monoaminergic genotypes was examined. Cluster analysis of the OCSDs in our sample of patients with OCD identified 3 separate clusters at a 1.1 linkage distance level. The 3 clusters were named as follows: (1) "reward deficiency" (including trichotillomania, Tourette's disorder, pathological gambling, and hypersexual disorder), (2) "impulsivity" (including compulsive shopping, kleptomania, eating disorders, self-injury, and intermittent explosive disorder), and (3) "somatic" (including body dysmorphic disorder and hypochondriasis). Several significant associations were found between cluster scores and other variables; for example, cluster I scores were associated

  6. A comparison of two short education programs for improving low back pain-related disability in the elderly: a cluster randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Francisco; Abraira, Víctor; Santos, Severo; Díaz, Elena; Gestoso, Mario; Muriel, Alfonso; Gil del Real, María Teresa; Mufraggi, Nicole; Noguera, Juan; Zamora, Javier

    2007-05-01

    Cluster randomized clinical trial. To assess the effectiveness of 2 minimal education programs for improving low back pain (LBP)-related disability in the elderly. No education program has shown effectiveness on low back pain (LBP)-related disability in the elderly. A total of 129 nursing homes (6389 residents) in northern Spain were invited to participate in the study. The actual participants were 12 nursing homes randomly assigned to 3 groups and 661 subjects. An independent physician gave a 20-minute talk with slide projections summarizing the content of the Back Book (active management group), the Back Guide (postural hygiene group), and a pamphlet on cardiovascular health (controls). Disability was measured with the Roland-Morris questionnaire (RMQ). Blind assessments were performed before the intervention, and 30 and 180 days later. The effect of the intervention on disability was estimated by generalized mixed linear random effects models. Mean age of participants ranged between 79.9 and 81.2 years. Disability improved in all groups, but at the 30-day assessment the postural education group showed an additional improvement of 1.1 (95% confidence interval, 0.2-1.9), RMQ points and at the 180-day assessment the active education group an additional improvement of 2.0 (95% confidence interval, 0.6-3.4). In the s